DORSET 1974 TO 2019


ARMS: Quarterly Or and Azure a Cross flory between a Lion rampant holding between the paws a Rose in the first and fourth quarters six Martlets two two and two in the second and four Salmons naiant and in pale in the third all counterchanged.
CREST: On a Wreath of the Colours upon a Mount Vert a Pine Tree proper in front four Roses fessewise Or.

Motto 'PULCHRITUDO ET SALUBRITAS' - Beauty and health.
Granted 24th March 1891, to the Bournemouth County Borough Council.

bournemouth bc arms

The cross flory, the marlets and the basic colours of gold and blue are taken from the arms attributed to King Edward the Confessor. The whole district in the midst of which Bournemouth stands was originally a Royal Estate belonging to him. The four salmon represent the River Stour, which marks the boundary between Christchurch and Bournemouth. The lion is that of England, coloured blue to distinguish it from the royal lion, and made rampant 'as indicating the constant-calls to arms necessary in all that coast during the Middle Ages. The roses in the paws of the lions are the English roses and are also a part of the arms of Hampshire, the county where Bournemouth was originally situated. The martlets are also locally regarded as sand-martins, representing Bournemouth's sand cliffs, while the colours and the fish also suggest sky, sands, and sea.
The four English Roses surmounted by a pine tree of the crest, symbolise the town's gardens and parks, the salubrity of Bournemouth's climate, and the use of the rose - the queen of flowers, emphasizes the motto.


ARMS: Azure a Stag's Head caboshed between the attires a Cross flory Or on a Chief Argent a Fleur-de-Lys between two Saxon Crowns Gules.
CREST: Out of a Coronet composed of two Fleurs-de-Lys Or and as many Roses Gules barbed and seeded proper set alternately upon a Rim Gold a demi Lion Ermine ducally gorged also Gold and holding between the paws a Chapeau Gules turned up Ermine.

Motto 'SERIO SERVIRE' - Earnestly to serve.
Granted 29th May 1959, to the Wimborne and Cranborne Rurual District Council.

The East Dorset and Wimborne District was formed by the amalgamation of the Wimborne Minster Urban District, part of the Ringwood and Fordingbridge Rural District and the Wimborne and Cranborne Rural District.

Picture used with permission, do not reproduce.

east dorset dc arms

The shield symbolises the District of East Dorset in the ancient Kingdom of Wessex. The gold cross and blue field are from the ancient arms of Wimbome Minster, derived from those traditionally assigned to Edward the Confessor its founder, and the gold stag's head represents the ancient Royal Chase of Cranbome; the Minster and Chase each exerted a considerable influence on the area now represented by the District. The red fleur-de-lys from the arms of the Dorset CC and the red Saxon crowns are derived from those which encircle the necks of the Wessex Dragons supporting the County Shield.
The ermine lion is that of the Cecils, Marquesses of Salisbury and Viscounts Cranborne. The lion wears the gold crown and and holds the cap of maintenance from the crest of the Ashley-Coopers, Earls of Shaftesbury, of Wimbome St. Giles. The crown from which the lion emerges is composed of two fleurs-de-lys of gold from the arms of the Bankes family of Kingston Lacy, while the two red roses (of which only one is visible) are from the Sturts, Earls Arlington of Crichel.


ARMS: Barry wavy of eight Sable and Or a Dolphin naiant embowed Argent langued Gules on a Chief wavy of the third three Escallops of the first.
CREST: On a Wreath of the Colours a Mermaid proper supporting with her dexter hand an Anchor cabled without a beam proper and in her sinister hand a Pellet.
SUPPORTERS: On the dexter a Lion holding a Sword erect proper and on the sinister a Dragon supporting an Oar Argent upon a Compartment per pale a grassy Mound proper and Water barry wavy Azure and Argent.

Motto 'AD MOREM VILLAE DE POOLE' - According to the custom of the Town of Poole.
Arms recorded (without tinctures and with variations) at the Visitations of 1563 and 1623. Arms confirmed and Crest granted 19th June 1948. Supporters granted 1976.

poole arms

The basic design of the arms, but with many variatons in colouration, date back to the late 1300's, where they appeared on an old seal. The arms therefore predate the order of King Henry V in 1417 which forbade the bearing of arms without authority from the Crown and the setting up of the College of Arms in 1484. In the year 1563 an official from the College of Arms visited Poole, and confirmed the coat of arms which had been in use prior to that date without apparent authority. In 1623 there was a Visitation of Dorset by the Heralds and the arms were then drawn again but not in colour. It was only in 1948 that a written description of the arms was confirmed by the College of Arms, clearing up and explaining the many variations in the colouring or tinctures of the blazon in the intervening centuries and authorising the crest, incorporating a mermaid, which had been used without authority for about 200 years.
The wavy black and gold bars typified water and the dolphin "the king of the sea", just as the lion represents "king of the beasts". The dolphin reminds us of Poole's maritime interests, which was the town's chief source of prosperity from early times down to the middle of the 19th century. The three scallop shells are the symbol of St James and associated with the shrine of Santiago de Compostela reputed burial place of St James, apostle of Jesus Christ. St James is the Patron Saint of the Parish Church in the Old Town of Poole. Poole was one of the places from which people could take ship for the long and dangerous journey across the Bay of Biscay to the port of Corunna and so on to Santiago de Compostela. One theory of their black colouration is that pilgrims, like tourists today, value souvenirs and especially prized were the works of the Spanish azabacheria the craftsmen who carved scallop shells from azabache - jet. Since 1976 the dolphin has been depicted naturalistically rather than heraldically.
The mermaid is of course another maritime reference. The pellet in the mermaid's left hand may represent a cannon ball and in the right a cable and anchor which also calls to mind Poole's maritime past.
The gold lion holding a long sword represents William Longespee, Lord of the manor in 1248 who granted the town's first charter. The dragon is derived from the royal arms of Elizabeth I, as depicted on the "Great Charter" of 1568. The royal dragon is coloured red, but that granted to Poole was altered to gold for heraldic difference. The dragon holds a silver oar. This is part of the civic regalia of the Mayor of Poole, representing his additional title "Admiral of the port of Poole". The supporters added to the arms was a gift to the town by Lord Murton of Lindisfarne, the then Rt Hon Oscar Murton OBE TD JP MP, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, to commemorate his period of service as a Councillor and MP for Poole from 1964.
The Latin motto comes from the town's 1568 Great Charter.


ARMS: Gyronny Vert and Gules a Saxon Cross per saltire and quarterly Argent and Or.
CREST: On a Wreath Argent Vert and Gules a Sea Wyvern sejant Argent winged Or grasping in the dexter paw an Ostrich Feather palewise also Argent penned Gold; Mantled Vert doubled Argent.
SUPPORTERS On either side a Sea Wyvern Argent winged and gorged with a Saxon Crown Or the Compartment composed of Graded Pebbles proper
BADGE: A Sea Wyvern sejant Argent winged Or grasping in the dexter paw an Ostrich Feather palewise also Argent penned Gold

Granted 1990.

The West Dorset District was formed by the amalgamation of the Borough of Bridport, the Borough of Dorchester, the Borough of Lyme Regis, the Sherborne Urban District, the Beaminster Rural District, the Bridport Rural District, the Dorchester Rural District and the Sherborne Rural District.

Picture used with permission, do not reproduce.

west dorset dc arms
west dorset  badge

The shield is divided into eight pieces representing the three former boroughs and one urban district (red) and the four former rural districts (green) which were combined to create the new District Council in 1974. The Saxon Cross symbolizes the ancient kingdom of Wessex, a name which is synonymous with the novels of Thomas Hardy. The four points of the cross represent the four ancient monastic foundations of Abbotsbury, Cerne, Forde and Sherborne.
The sea wyverns are appropriate to a district which was once the centre of the Kingdom of Wessex (whose kings used a golden wyvern as their emblem) and with traditional maritime associations. They are gorged with Saxon Crowns as are the dragon supporters in the arms of the Dorset County Council. The Ostrich feather quill pen refers to both Thomas Hardy and William Barnes and is an incidental allusion to the west Dorset estates of the Duchy of Cornwall, two such feathers occuring also in the arms of the Duchy.
The compartment of graded peebles is a representation of Chesil Beach.


*ARMS: Azure on Waves of the Sea in base proper a Ship of three masts tackled and rigged all Or the fore and mizzen masts each flying Pennons of St George and two Square Banners that on the first per pale Gules and Vert three Lions passant guardant in pale Or that on the latter quarterly Argent and Gules in the first quarter a Lion rampant Purpure and in the second quarter a Tower triple-towered Or on the Hulk of the Ship an Escutcheon Per fesse Or and Gules in chief three Chevronels also Gules and in base three Lions passant guardant in pale also Or.
*CREST: Upon a Naval Crown Or two Lions rampant and respectant Sable armed and langed Gules holding between them with the fore paws a Block of Portland Stone proper; Mantled Gules doubled Argent.
*SUPPORTERS On either side a Sea Lion the upper parts Or and the lower parts proper that on the dexter holding a Fishing Net and that on the sinister an Anchor with a Rope attached Sable.

Granted ?.

The Borough of Weymouth and Portland was formed by the amalgamation of the Borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis and the Portland Urban District.

weymouth and portland bc arms

The shield is almost identical, with some minor changes, to that of the former Borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis which was granted in 1592. The arms on the banners are, with slight variations, those of Edward I, from whom Melcombe Regis received its first Charter, and his queen, Eleanor of Castile, who held the manor. The chevrons on the shield are those of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, who held the Manor of Weymouth in the thirteenth century.
The crest refers to the town of Portland, which is an important naval base, represented by the Naval crown. The black lions come from the arms of the Earl of Portland and they support a piece of famous Portland stone. The mantling is in the red and white livery of Dorset County Council.
The supporters are heraldic sea-lions appropriate to a maritime town, they are here differenced by a fishing-net and an anchor.
The council does not use a motto, although a blank scroll appears below the arms.

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