The Bathford Emblem

In Bathford we have our own version of a coat of arms.

Coats of Arms date from the 1100s when Knights, unrecognisable because helmets covered their faces, began to paint unique combinations of colours, shapes and animals on their shields and banners. This way, in battles or tournaments they could always be identified.

At the time of the official twinning with Artannes 15 years ago, the Twinning Association realised that the French would be using their village ‘blazon’ on the official Friendship Charter. What could Bathford use?

Quickly we began to look at possibilities and after a bit of research found a heraldry expert, Robert Young who was prepared to help. We couldn’t have an official Coat of Arms as there are strict rules about who can have them; however Robert was prepared to design an emblem for us in the heraldic style and as a gift to Bathford and its Twinning Association.

After conversations with Maureen Breeze (Chair of the Twinning Committee) in liaison with the Parish Council, Robert came up with a design for the emblem.

It’s a typical shield shape with a background suggesting a green hill with blue sky, representing the local landscape. The sprig of oak symbolises the rural nature of the area, particularly of the Browne’s Folly Nature Reserve. The ‘Pepperpot’ is depicted in gold.

The dragon standing on a hind leg, is taken from the arms of Somerset County Council, but in gold, being derived from the ancient symbol of the Kingdom of Wessex.

This is all set within a gold border, reflecting the colour of the local Bath stone. The embattled edge suggests a protective wall and alludes to the fact that Bathford is a ‘walled’ village.

The drops of water represent rain and are a reference to the Parish Church dedicated to St Swithun, recalling the famous legend connected with him. Also, the raindrops can be seen as a source of all rivers including the Avon and By Brook.

If any individual or organisation has a legitimate purpose to make use of the emblem, please contact Maureen Breeze [email protected], who will gladly supply it in electronic form.