The Abingdon Blog

The Abingdon Blog is a photo record of events and places in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, started on January 1st 2006.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Know your Abingdon Heraldry?

In the County Hall Museum, the four large windows facing the Market Place contain heraldic windows. In 1881 when St Nicolas Church was being restored not too much care was given to these same windows, and they were disposed of, some being used in Old Abbey House and some at Barton Court - both private houses at the time. In 1938 there was a movement to get the windows restored to public view at the County Hall. Old Abbey House had become the property of Abingdon Corporation and used as municipal offices, and Barton Court had become the property of the Convent of our Lady, and both donated the glass.

A recent exhibition at the museum had all these windows labelled and described. The shields of the best known Abingdonians appear in the first window....

1. A cross and four martlets (heraldic birds)

2. An eagle part blue and part silver

3. Three teasels

4. A silver griffin
5. Three battering rams and a coronet.

Can you put the right shield with the right name?

a) Thomas Tesdale of Fitzharry's, Abingdon - benefactor of Roysse's School and Pembroke College in Oxford

b) John Roysse - founder of Roysse's School (to become Abingdon School)

c) Abingdon Abbey

d) Bertie - Earl of Abingdon

e) John Blacknall - bequeathed money to St Nicolas and for a bread charity for the poor, and well remembered by a large monument in St Nicolas Church.

I'll add the answers in a comment unless somebody beats me to it. By the way I did ask at the museum desk to borrow the little booklet describing ALL the windows so I do know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My suggested answers to the Abingdon Heraldry questions:-
1 - c; 2 - e; 3 - a; 4 - b; 5 - d.

Mike Faires, Cardiff

2 March 2010 00:55  
Blogger Backstreeter said...

I don't know how you managed that all the way from Cardiff. Well done Mike. Yours answers are correct.

2 March 2010 20:54  
Anonymous Mike Faires, Cardiff said...

Hi Backstreeter, I may be living in Cardiff now BUT I am an OA, having lived in Abingdon from 1948 - 1963 and went to Dunmore and then Abingdon School. I could not have shown my face if I had got John Roysse's shield wrong!! The rest were answered by observation of the heraldry motifs and a process of elimination. My parents lived in Abingdon until they died in 1992 and 1998 respectively and I visited Abingdon regularly until then. I cannot remember how or when I discovered your website but I have visited your website daily for nearly 2 years, just to see what is happening in the old town. Abingdon has changed over the years - especially the shops I once knew - but that is the same everywhere. Keep up the good work.

3 March 2010 01:17  

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