Our Armorial is sited on the south wall between the sanctuary and the pulpit and shows the Royal Coat of Arms used between 1714 and 1801. Our Royal Coat of Arms is dated 1743, during the reign of George II.
The Armorial is painted in a primitive style on wooden boards. The image to the left may help you to see the features of the Georgian Coat of Arms better.
The Restoration of the Armorial
In 2010 the Parochial Council of St. Mary’s Church decided to have the Armorial renovated because the varnish had darkened over time and it was very difficult to see any of the painting. The image to the right shows the armorial during its restoration. One panel remains unrestored to show the difference before and after restoration. During the restoration the studio staff christened the lion Chewbacca from the Star Wars films!
The conservation work was undertaken by Lancashire Conservation Studios Stanley Street Preston PR1 4YP undertook the restoration.
Royal Coats of Arms in Churches and Cathedrals
The earliest known Royal Coat of Arms could be those of Henry VI. They used to be seen over the screen in Norwich Cathedral. During the reign of Mary royal arms were removed from churches. Examples of Elizabethan Royal Arms are rare. During the reign of James I it was also usual to erect the coat of arms of the Prince of Wales.
Examples of the Royal Coat of Arms of Charles I are rare. Commonwealth Arms are very rare. In some cases they were painted on the back of the pre-existing Royal Coat of Arms.
The first time evidence that has been found of a compulsory order to set up Royal Arms come from the Parish Register of Warrington, Lancashire in 1660, which mentions an injunction of “the great Councell” of England that they be set up in all churches. The Arms of William III are relatively common, as are Queen Anne’s. George I altered the Royal Coat of Arms to those shown above and this is the most common form of Royal Coat of Arms found in Churches. Victorian Royal Arms only appear during the first half of the 19th Century.