Suffolk Heraldry Society

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Street heraldry is defined as that which can be seen from any public road and may be on public buildings, private houses, towns and village signs, in fact almost anywhere and sometimes in surprising places. It is changing and disappearing rapidly, so the Society has decided to record as much as possible in the County for the benefit of historians of the future. 

The division of Suffolk into Hundreds has been used as the basis for the survey and the nine booklets are now complete and on sale at relevant Tourist Information offices or direct from the Society. A distinction is made between traditional heraldry and ‘quasi-heraldry’, the latter being based upon heraldry but not strictly heraldic.

Booklet No. 1, 2nd edition covers the town in much greater detail with over 40 examples of heraldry that can be seen from the street, together with descriptions and historical facts, plus a map of central Bury to assist in your searches.

sh in Bury

town sign

Street Heraldry in Bury
Town sign
school sign town council
Suffolk County Council Offices

Town Council offices

Booklet No. 2 covers the Hundreds of Babergh, Cosford and Samford and stretches from Cavendish in the west to Shotley in the east and includes such towns as Long Melford, Lavenham and Hadleigh where much heraldry is still visible. There are over 60 examples in this area.
monks eleigh hadleigh
Village sign - Monks Eleigh
Private house - Hadleigh
gate house inn sign
Gate House - Freston
Inn sign - Nayland (Quasi-heraldry)

No. 3 booklet covers the Hundreds of Bosmere, Carlford and Colneis which is a substantially rural strip of Suffolk countryside extending along the north shore of the Orwell river and further northwestwards to Needham Market. Felixstowe was found to have the highest density of arms, despite being a relatively new, albeit a prosperous town. Of the stately houses in the area only Helmingham Hall, Orwell Park at Nacton and Seckford Hall at Gt Bealings display arms granted to their o
ne time owners.
felixtowe town council needham market
Felixstowe Town Council

Needham Market

ipswich bc levington
Ipswich Borough Council
(at Rushmere St Andrew)

Booklet No. 4 covers the Hundreds of Lackford, Thingoe & Risbridge which includes the medieval town of Clare, the horseracing town of Newmarket, and Mildenhall with connections to the RAF and USAF.  There are over 60 photographs and much heraldic and historical details of individual coats of arms.
mildenhall sign clare sign
pswich BoMildenhall - town sign

Clare - sign outside the Ancient House

newmarket rutland arms sign gazeley chequers sign
Newmarket - The Rutland Arms hotel Gazeley - the Chequers Pub

Booklet No. 5
records various aspects of heraldry in the five Hundreds lying north east of Bury
St Edmunds. Any visible armorials are recorded from the 102 parishes visited including
Stowmarket, Walsham le Willows, Eye and Debenham. 
There are 54 colour photographs in the 48 page booklet.
stowmarket sign eye sign
Stowmarket - town sign Eye - town sign
finningham sign brewers arms sign
Finningham - village sign Brewers Arms, Rattlesden

Booklet No. 6 covers Wilford, Loes and Hoxne Hundreds which extend from the banks of
the tranquil Waveney River southward to the spectacular coastline and the Deben River. The
ancient bustling market towns of Woodbridge and Framlingham, with its castle, are well
endowed with heraldry relating to historical events, even back to the Vikings. Many of the 50
small villages and inns have armorial arms included in their signs and these are also depicted
within their churches.
Brandeston, Framlingham, College sign Framlingham Town Sign
Brandeston, Framlingham, College Framlingham Town sign
Wingfield, De La Pole Arms Woodbridge, Shire Hall
Wingfield, De La Pole Arms Woodbridge, Shire Hall

Booklet No. 7
In this 58 page booklet on the ancient rural and ever-changing coastline of Blything and Plomesgate, 72 towns and villages were searched for heraldry.  There are 70 coloured illustrations, featuring arms, badges and crests, especially those found on municipal buildings, town and village signs, and on the dwindling number of pub shingles.
Southwold sign Aldeburgh sign
Southwold Aldeburgh
BVlythburgh sign wangford sign
Blythburgh Wangford

Booklet No. 8.
Forty-six communities have been visited in the northern reaches
of Suffolk County boundary prior to 1976. These three Hundreds of Wangford,
Mutford and Lothingland are bordered by the Waveney river valley and the
North Sea coast. With the exception of the area near Lowestoft, it is an
agricultural district with the two ancient market towns of Beccles and Bungay
amidst small villages.
lowestoft sign beccles museum
Lowestoft Beccles Museum
corton kessingland
Corton Kessingland

Booklet No. 9
covers the heraldry on view in the county town of Ipswich which cannot readily be compared with that in other towns and villages in Suffolk. Not only is the population three times that of St Edmundsbury but recent expansion into green fields, together with re-modelling of the town centre, must have substantially reduced heraldic displays of Tudor and Victorian prosperity. Some armorial bearings from wealthy families can be seen but they are largely in the churches whilst pub signs are much reduced and once lively images have been replaced by the written word.

Civic heraldry has flourished with recent buildings and sports centres having the Ipswich achievement in one form or another. It is as though the long period of heavy industrial and maritime prosperity, but sparse heraldry, has been compensated for by placing the undoubtedly pleasing civic arms on all street name plates in the town.
ipswich arms ancient house
Ipswich coat of arms The Ancient House
tooleys ipswich school
Tooley's Almshouses Ipswich School

Each booklet has a location map and is well illustrated with photographs of every item, blazoning of arms and references given where relevant. They are A5 size, handy to keep in a pocket, and reasonably priced at £3.50 each , plus postage costs. (See Publications page).


Over the years, the Society has contributed to the conservation of heraldry in the county’s churches, both with advice and when possible, with a financial contribution.

1997 Restoration and reframing of five hatchments in St Mary’s Church, Haughley

2000 Restoration of hatchments at St Peter’s Church, Yoxford

2000 Renovation of Queen Elizabeth I Arms, St Mary’s Church, Preston

2002 Repair of East Window of Clare Parish Church

2004 Renovation of the George III Royal coat of arms at St Mary’s Church, Bentley

2004 Renovation of the Royal Arms. St James, Nayland

2005 Repair and renovation of the North Aisle, West Window, Stratford St Mary’s Church

2006 Restoration of wall monument (1641) to William Alston in St Andrew’s Church,                         Marlesford.

2009 Repair and renovation of the hatchment for Jane, wife of Thomas Kerridge (died 1744)
          in St Michael’s Church, Framlingham.

2010 Restoration of six hatchments at All Saints, Sudbourne

2011 Recording of Street Heraldry in Suffolk.

2013 Restoration of Royal Arms at St Peter and St Paul, Alpheton.