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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

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Incorporated into: 1974 Gwynedd

Arms (crest) of Caernarvonshire

Official blazon

Arms : Quarterly Or and Gules four Lions passant guardant counterchanged a Fesse Vert charged with three Eagles displayed of the first.
Crest : On a Wreath Or and Vert on a Mount Vert a Port between two Towers Or issuant therefrom a Plume of three Ostrich Feathers Argent.
Supporters : On either side a Sea Dragon per fesse Gules and proper.
Motto: 'CADERNID GWYNEDD' - The strength of Gwynedd.


The arms were officially granted on July 21, 1949.

The shield combines the arms of two great native Princes of Wales; Owain Gwynedd (three eagles) and Llywelyn Ein Llyw Olaf (Llywelyn the Last), whose arms were four lions quartered. The three eagles were also supposedly emblazoned on the banners borne by the men of Caernarvonshire at the Battle of Agincourt.

The crest shows a castle, for the three largest castles in the county, Conway, Criccieth and Caernarvon castles. Rising from the castle were the "Prince of Wales's feathers".

The supporters are sea-dragons: Welsh red dragons terminating in a fishtail. They were intended to signify the maritime situation and associations of the County. The base or compartment of rocks, symbolises the coast and mountains of Caernarvonshire.

The motto "Cadernid Gwynedd", is a quotation from the Mabinogion, a collection of medieval Welsh manuscripts.

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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink Ralf Hartemink arms.jpg
Index of the siteLiterature: Image provided by Laurence Jones; background from Scott-Giles, 1953.