Merton Council

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Merton Council's Coat of Arms

Merton Council's coat of arms

The College of Arms granted our coat of arms in 1965 when Merton, Mitcham, Morden and Wimbledon merged to form the present borough of Merton. The present coat of arms and the motto, "stand fast in honour and strength" combine elements of the arms of the old authorities.

The shield

The lower part of the shield is made up of the "Merton fret". This comes from the arms of Merton Priory, which used to stand near Merantun Way. Henry VIII demolished the priory as part of the dissolution of the monasteries.

In the top band of the shield is a double-headed eagle, which is the symbol of Julius Caesar. Caesar's association with the borough is probably mythical, but the names Caesar's Camp and Caesar's Well on Wimbledon Common suggest some connection.

The crossed keys and sword in the centre of the shield represent Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the patron saints of Mitcham. The black lion is from the arms of Sir Richard Garth, whose family were Lords of the Manor of Morden.

The crest and helmet

On top of the shield is a helmet that shows the mantling at the back. The mantling represents the covering worn by crusading knights as neck protection from the sun. Over the helmet is a golden mural crown (with the embattled tower). The mural crown is a symbol of local government and refers to the council's status as a borough.

Inside the crown is part of the fret used on the shield. Perched on the fret is a Cornish Chough bird. This comes from the arms of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, who was given the Manor of Wimbledon by Henry VIII.

Behind the bird are three sprigs of lavender. They are a reminder of the lavender fields that used to cover much of Mitcham.

The supporters

The supporters are on either side of the shield, they are the lion and eagle. They both have mural crowns around their necks to represent local government.

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This page was last updated on Wednesday 17 December 2014

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