EVESHAM (rural district council)
Incorporated into : 1974 Wychavon
Arms : Azure on a Chevron Or between in chief two Cornucopiae proper the Horns Or and in base a Pear Tree issuant Or fructed Sable a Chain in chevron padlocked to the dexter and ringed to the sinister Azure.
Crest : On a Wreath of the Colours upon a Mount Vert in front of a representation of Broadway Tower a Lion passant queue-fourchée holding in the dexter forepaw a Cross-crosslet fitchée Gules.
Motto: 'FERVET OPUS'
The arms were officially granted on December 20, 1962.
The gold and blue colours and the chain with padlock and ring in a chevron arrangement are from the arms of Evesham Abbey, which has been important in the history of the area. The Abbey was founded by St. Egwin, Bishop of Worcester, at a spot where a herdsman of the bishop, named Eoves, was one day favoured with a vision of the Virgin Mary.
A legend tells that Egwin undertook a pilgrimage to seek vindication from the Pope after a dispute with the King of Mercia. He prepared for his journey by locking shackles on his feet, and throwing the key into the River Avon. While he prayed before the tomb of the Apostles, at Rome, one of his servants brought him this very key - found inside a fish that had just been caught in the Tiber. Egwin then released himself from his self-imposed bonds and straightway obtained from the Pope an authoritative release from the load of obloquy which his enemies had striven to fasten upon him.
The links of the chain and the gold chevron, suggesting a hill, can also be seen as a punning reference to the Lench Hills, the name of which are generally regarded as being derived from the Anglo-Saxon "hlinc", a rising ground or some form of ridge. The cornucopiae refer to the rich agricultural produce of the area, particularly the Vale of Evesham and the pear tree is taken from the Worcestershire CC, and is also apt for an area famous for fruit growing.
The crest features the Broadway Tower, built by the Earl of Coventry at the request of his countess about 1800. At a height of 1,031ft above sea level, it is a conspicuous land mark for miles around.