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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

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BANBURY (Borough)

Incorporated into: 1974 Cherwell

Arms (crest) of Banbury

Official blazon

Arms : Azure a Sun in his Splendour Or on a Chief Ermine a Castle of two Towers between two Pairs of Swords points upwards in saltire Gules.
Crest : On a Wreath of the Colours mounted upon a Horse passant Argent caparisoned Or and Gules a Lady in Tudor costume proper.
Supporters : On either side an Ox Gules armed and unguled Or gorged with a Collar Argent charged with a Bar wavy Azure.
Motto: 'DOMINUS NOBIS SOL ET SCUTUM' - The Lord is our sun and shield


The arms were officially granted on August 28, 1951.

The shield is based upon the device borne upon the seal, which has been associated with the Borough for many years, namely the figure of the sun linked with the motto in a religious significance. The ermine of the chief commemorates the royal charters granted to the town at various times.

The castle recalls the important part played by Banbury Castle in the Civil War, when two great sieges were laid against it in 1644 and 1646. It is shown with two towers in conventional heraldic style, in allusion to Leland's description of the castle as having "two wards". The crossed swords commemorate the Civil War sieges and also an important Roses battle in 1469, and these swords and the castle are all coloured red in keeping with the sanguinary warfare of those days.

The crest itself is simply "a fine lady upon a white horse", from the well-known rhyme which has made the name of Banbury a part of legend and folklore. She is depicted in Tudor costume in commemoration of Mary Tudor who granted the town a charter.

The red oxen refer to the Oxfordshire CC, whose arms at the time bore the head of a red ox taken from the "ox and ford" of the City of Oxford arms. They also refer to the important agricultural market of Banbury. The collars are similar to those now borne by the rams supporting the County arms.

The arms are currently used by the town council.

Arms (crest) of Banbury

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


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