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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

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ROMSEY (Borough council)

Incorporated into : 1974 Test Valley

Arms (crest) of Romsey

Official blazon

Arms : Quarterly Gules and Sable a Pastoral Staff in pale head to the sinister surmounted of a Portcullis chained Or.
Crest : Out of a Mural Crown Gules four Ears of Wheat and as many Ears of Barley alternately Or.
Supporters : On the dexter side a Lion queue fourchee ducally crowned Or supporting between the forelegs a Staff proper flying therefrom a Banner Argent charged with two Pallets Sable and on the sinister side a Hart Royal proper attired unguled and gorged with an ancient Crown Or and supporting between the forelegs a like Staff flying therefrom a Banner Azure charged with two Pallets wavy Argent over all a Mayfly proper.
Motto: 'QUAE RECTA TENE' - Hold fast that which is right.


The arms were officially granted on June 15, 1959.

Much of Romsey' s ancient history is bound up with that of Romsey Abbey and the design of the Arms, i.e. the shield, refers simply to this fact and to the Borough's royal associations. The red in the quartered shield alludes to the latter; the black to the Benedictine Abbey. Displayed in gold upon this red and black field is a crosier (or pastoral staff) of an Abbess surmounted of a Portcullis, the emblem long used by Romsey Corporation as its Common Seal.

To emphasise the civic status and dignity of Romsey, the Crest embodies a red mural crown masoned sable (colours of the field of the shield) out of which spring ears of golden wheat and barley alternately in reference respectively to Agriculture and to Brewing, the principal industry of the Borough.

The dexter Supporter portrays, in compliment to Romsey's High Steward, Admiral of the Fleet the Earl Mountbatten K.G., the Hessian Lion supporting a Banner of the Mountbatten Arms: "Argent two pallets sable".
The sinister Supporter depicts a Hart Royal, with antlers and hooves of gold and with an ancient crown about its neck, into which may be read some allusion toKing John's Hunting Lodge. The hart supports a blue banner chargedwith two white wavy pallets over which is set a Mayfly symbolising the River Test and its celebrated trout fishing.

The arms are presently used by the town council.

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Literature : Image and information provided by Laurence Jones.