Which is the real Draycott coat of arms?

Sharp-eyed history-lovers in Draycott have been puzzling over the pub-sign at the Draycott Arms. No, it’s nothing to do with the beer there (though the pub’s ale is extremely appealing!); it’s all to do with the colours on the coat of arms depicted there…
The question is: is the colouring on the sign correct?

From blue to red

Over the last three years, the sign outside the pub seems to have had four different and separate colourings.  They can’t all be right…
And, what’s more, the colouring on the coat of arms is slightly different again when you check out the instances in St Margaret’s Church, and in Checkley Church.
Have a look at our slideshow, and you’ll see what we mean… (The gallery is an ‘automatic’ slideshow, so give it a sec, and you will see the photos appear one by one).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


So what does the ‘Encyclopaedia Heraldica‘ say?  This definitive tome doesn’t make it easy, as it records around half-a-dozen different families called Draycott.

Draycott Family arms (standard)In fact, if you are searching on the internet, the usual link is to a Draycott family completely different to our one, which is why you will usually see on the internet a coat-of-arms with arrow-heads (see pic right).  This is not our Draycott Family’s arms.

In the Encyclopaedia, it describes the coat of arms of our (Paynsley) Draycotts like this (in Latin): “Draycott (co. Stafford). Or, fretty gu. on a canton ar. a cross patonce az.” This translates as: “…on a gold shield, a fretty coloured red, with an silver canton (i.e. left upper square), on which is a azure cross in patonce design”.    (A cross patonce is one whose ends are made into three leaf-like shapes).
If you look at the slideshow above, you’ll see that none of the signs appears to be correct, though the version of the Draycott Arms pub-sign that comes nearest to being correct is the current one.
So, well done to the new owners at the Arms, Zara and Brayn, who commissioned the current sign.  They were so close!

Draycott Arms sign 2015

Draycott Arms sign 2015. Aha!! almost right

Sadly, whoever painted their sign mixed up the colours on the canton and the cross.  The canton should be silver – and the cross should be azure (blue).

So now we know.

Thanks to all those who contributed notes to the making of this article – especially Lev Wood of the local history society.  Thank you!
(And sorry for getting the first draft of this post wrong)

3 responses to “Which is the real Draycott coat of arms?

  1. Not surprised that the canton on the tomb is red, as the red colour is actually the undercoat, that still remains! Silver was a pigment that normally could not be reproduced, so, rather like gold foil, silver needed an egg wash (‘red madder’ in this case) to be used as an adherent. Time takes its toll on us all.
    Lev Wood


  2. First of all, ‘Armorial Coats of Arms’ change over time – as families intermarry and adopt ‘but sometimes, not always’ each other’s heraldic design … so consequently there has never been just one single Draycott version. The one usually shown on the pub sign is considered the Staffordshire version as recognised by the College of Arms.
    Thus to quote them (and hate to disappoint the locals and publicans again) but the Encyclopaedia Heraldica Vol 2 by William Berry published in 1828 and the Staffordshire Heraldic visitations made by Sir William Dugdale, and Norrey College of Arms in 1663/64 all describe the coat of arms in these terms;- “or (gold), fretty gules (red), on a canton argent (silver), a cross patonce azure (blue)”.
    Can you spot the mistake therefore on the pub sign? Oops!
    You know who


  3. De Verduns & Draycotts

    Bertram de Verdun (III) of Alton Castle, whose arms were: “Or, fretty gu”, gave to Hugh de Draycott, and his heirs, Newton in the hundred of Totmonslow in the County of Stafford, to be held of the de Verduns. (Newton is within Draycott-in-the-Moors parish). So, perhaps the Draycotts adopted some arms based on their feudal lords…perhaps the two families were even related?

    Incidentally, Philip, son of Hugh de Draycott, attested the foundation charter of Croxden Abbey, which Bertram founded. It seems the Draycotts attested charters of the de Verdun family over a longer time period than any other family’s members.

    It’s interesting that the neighbouring de Whitmore family in Newcastle who married a de Verdun heiress also (later) had arms with the fretty design – funnily enough the colour-scheme of them was exactly like the pub sign on the Draycott Arms (without the canton), ie gold shield, green fretty.

    One last thought – it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the de Draycott family may even have been related to the de Verduns and may even perhaps be a branch that changed its name to reflect where they held their principal estates. The de Wrottesley and de Ipstone families were originally called de Verdun, until they adopted their toponym surname.


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