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Armorial Bearings of Swale

The Armorial Bearings of Swale

Coat of Arms


This is coloured gold to signify the wealth of the area in so many different ways: historical, industrial, agricultural and so on. Across the centre of the Shield is placed a band of symbolic water5 in allusion to the waterborne industrial activity of the area which includes dock and port facilities, boat building and all the many other connected and ancillary trades and occupations. The band of symbolic water also refers to The Swale and so is a pun or cant upon the very name of the district. In the upper part of the Shield a lion4 passant guardant dimidiates the hulk of a medieval ship. This device is taken from the Arms of the Cinque Ports of which Faversham is a limb. In the lower part of the shield are placed five cherries12 in reference to the fact that the district is the centre of the Kentish fruit growing activities. It will be recalled that cherry growing was introduced into the area in the time of Henry VIII.


This consists of a Ram1 and a Horse8 supporting a Mural Crown7. The colours are heraldic being Azure (blue) Argent (silver and white) and Or (gold) which are a reflection of the basic tinctures of the Shield. The Ram is a further reference to agriculture which is both varied and important in the district and has a particular reference to the Isle of Sheppey. The white horse is the white horse of Kent, and these two support a Mural Crown which is a symbol of municipal government. These stand upon a crest wreath9 of the livery colours of the district, that is to say Or and Azure (gold and blue) which in turn is placed upon a helm2 appropriate to a body corporate, that is to say steel with vizor closed and facing the viewer's left. From beneath the crest wreath there flows down the mantling which, following the usual procedure in such matters, is also made up of the livery colours, that is to say blue lined with gold. The livery colours are usually the first colour and metal which are mentioned in the blazen or technical description of the Shield of Arms.


On each side is a sea lion6. The lions are Royal beasts of England and refer in particular to King Stephen and Queen Matilda who founded at Faversham the Cluniac Abbey where they are buried. The other lion refers to Edward III who founded Queenborough. Each is made into a sea lion because of the marine importance of the area. The Supporter to the Dexter (the viewer's left) holds an abbatial crozier3 complete with veil flowing down from the shaft. This refers to the various significant and monastic and other religious establishments of the area and in particular Minster-in-Sheppey and Faversham Abbey. The Supporter on the sinister (viewer's right) supports a pilgrim's staff and pouch10 in allusion to the fact that the district is on the Pilgrims Way from London to Canterbury.

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