Derbyshire’s Coats of Arms

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Patrick Coleman takes us on a delightful tour of the county – through its many intriguing coats of arms.

WHEREVER YOU GO IN DERBYSHIRE, you are never too far from a coat of arms. Carved into the stonework of our oldest buildings, staring down from the signs of hotels and public houses, and flying on flags over stately homes, heraldry is all around us. With their strange arcane symbols and fantastic mythical beasts, arms can seem complex and indecipherable. Yet the designs are actually speaking – in their own special code – of the county’s history and folklore, telling tales of the powerful dynasties and great events that have shaped Derbyshire over centuries…