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).
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.
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!
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)