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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

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Additions: 1974 Castle Ward (partly); Gosforth Urban District, Newburn Urban District

Arms (crest) of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Official blazon

Arms : Gules three Castles triple towered Argent.
Crest : On a Wreath of the Colours a Castle as in the Arms issuant therefrom a demi Lion guardant supporting a Flagstaff Or flying therefrom a forked Pennon of the arms of Saint George.
Supporters : On either side a Sea Horse proper crined and finned Or.


The arms were granted on August 16, 1575 and confirmed in April 1954.

The three silver castles on a red shield are boldly drawn with heavily masoned portcullised gateways and machiolated battlements behind which, on each, rise three lofty towers. The castle motif goes back to earliest times for originally the town took its name from the "new Castle" built by order of Robert Curthose, eldest son of William the Conqueror, in 1080 and a castle was depicted on the twelfth century common seal. The earliest extant example of the three silver castles on a red shield, dating from about 1400, is in the window on the north side of the Chancel on St. John's church.

The castle motif is repeated in the crest which is a golden demi-lion issuing from a silver castle. His forepaws grasp the golden staff of St. George's pennon depicted in a red on a silver ground. The castle stands upon a wreath of red and white above a tilting helmet, with eye slit of fifteenth century style.

The supporters, two mythical sea-horses, gracefully drawn and shaded in green with fold manes, fins and tails, are a reminder that Newcastle is a seaport. Both the supporters and crest were added to the shield - "the most ancient insignia or arms", by grant of William Flower, Norroy King of Arms, dated 16th August, 1575.

The motto, 'Fortiter Defendit Triumphans' ('Triumphing by Brave Defence') was adopted during the Civil War, probably following the stubborn defence of the town against the Scots in 1644.

Coat of arms (crest) of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
Coat of arms (crest) of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1935

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Literature: Image taken from [here].