The Colourful Arms of Devon’s Colourful Gentry. 
A Zoom talk by Dr David Oates on Thursday 17th June 2021 at 6pm.

Heraldic paintings, known as hatchments, are hung on the walls of parish churches across the country. The custom was to display a lozenge shaped artwork showing the arms of someone who had died over the front door of their house as a sign of mourning. After the person had been buried it would have been moved to the local church and hung on the wall of the nave aisle until their tomb or monument was erected. Fortunately, the hatchments were not always removed after the tomb was made, and many still hang in Devon’s rural churches, but what do these diamond-shaped boards really mean? To those in the know, they reveal the entire heraldic “achievements” of Devon’s gentry over the last 400 years; providing about their families and marriages, residences, and their intimate personal stories. This illustrated talk will provide a virtual tour of some of Devon’s surviving hatchments, and will also reveal some of the colourful characters behind the colourful arms.

Dr David Oates has been interested in Heraldry and its terminology since he was introduced to it as a schoolboy. More recently he assisted with the production of the Devon section of Hatchments of Britain. Colour photography and PowerPoint now provide him with a means of showing us this attractive aspect of our history in a particularly vivid way.

Tickets are £5 per device accessing the talk.
To purchase a ticket please call us on 01548 830832 or email Please note that payments are non-refundable. 

Booking will close at 12 noon on Tuesday 15th June and the joining instructions will be issued to participants by email later that day. You will need to supply a valid phone number and email address for our records.

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Where we are

Devon Rural Archive, Shilstone, Modbury, Devon, PL21 0TW

Call us: 01548 830832

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