Barrhead

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BARRHEAD BURGH COUNCIL

Incorporated into: 1975 Renfrew District Council

Arms (crest) of Barrhead

Official blazon

Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Vert, on a saltire Or within art orle Argent, three fleurs-de-lys one and two Azure; 2nd and 3rd, Or, three hearts Gules, each charged with a cross Argent, on a bordure of the Second eight fountains; over all at the centre of the quarterings, a rose Gules, barbed and seeded Vert. Above the Shield is placed a coronet suitable to a Burgh and on a Compartment below the Shield along with this Motto "Virtute Et Labore" are set for Supporters two wolves Sable.

Origin/meaning

The arms were granted on September 21, 1948.

The arms follow closely the device on the Burgh seal adopted in 1894. This shows what are supposed to be the arms of Stewart of Darnley and Lennox which the Town Council decided to use, as Sir William Stewart of Arthurlie was of that family.

But for some unexplained reason, the 2nd and 3rd quarters engraved on the seal show not the Stewart fess chequy but three hearts, each surmounted by a cross. The seal was prepared by a local printer who was given as his brief an excerpt from Crawford's History of Renfrewshire about the arms of Darnley, which he seems to have chosen to interpret with some artistic licence. After some discussion Lord Lyon agreed to grant a modified version of the device on the seal as the Burgh arms.

In the 1st and 4th quarters, the green field and gold saltire of Pollock of Pollock have been used since that family once owned the lands around Barrhead; the d'Aubigny fleurs-de-lys have been retained but coloured blue, while the engrailed bordure has been replaced by a silver orle.

In the 2nd and 3rd quarters, the hearts with the crosses remain but the red bordure has been charged with eight fountains (one concealed by the rose in the centre of the shield) "to denote that Barrhead is famous for casting baths and water fittings".

Instead of the escutcheon overall, a red Lennox rose has been used. The wolves of Stewart of Lennox have been kept and have been coloured black to match the colour of the Pollock supporters.
The Latin motto-"By Virtue and by Industry" is taken from the Burgh seal.


The arms on the former Burgh seal

The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905

Literature: Urquhart, 1974