This policy sets out the council’s policy on how it manages its Armorial Bearings.

The policy is overseen by the Environment and General Purposes Committee and was last updated in June 2020.


1.1 The coat of arms (armorial bearings) of Knutsford Town Council was granted by the College of Arms in 1955 to the Knutsford Urban District Council. The armorial bearings were a gift from the Nether Knutsford Freeholders on the occasion of the diamond anniversary of the council’s establishment.

1.2 The crest is that of the Town Council as a corporate body, not of the town of Knutsford.

1.3 No person or organisation may use the crest or shield of Knutsford Town Council without the express written permission of the Council in the form of a licence.

1.4 The Court of Chivalry, a civil court, has jurisdiction over cases of misuse of arms.



2.1 A licence for the use of the crest or shield will be given at the sole discretion of the council and no reasons for any decision to award or not to award a licence need be given.

2.2 Where a licence is given conditions may be attached which will include conditions to avoid the crest, shield, Town or Council coming into disrepute.

2.3 Should a licensee take any action which brings, or has a high probability of bringing, the shield, the crest, Town or the Council into disrepute the licence will terminate immediately.

2.4 Licences will be non-exclusive.

2.5 Unless otherwise stated in the licence a licence may be withdrawn at any time without reason and no liability shall be accepted by the Town Council for any loss whatsoever incurred by the licensee in discontinuing its use.

2.6 Use of the Crest will represent Knutsford Town Council and shall only be licenced for use to show the support of the Town Council. This will only be in instances of the organisation receiving Council funding and working with or on behalf of the Town Council and such uses may be authorised by the Town Clerk.

2.7 A licence to use the shield may be given to:

  • A charitable/voluntary organisation wholly or largely based in Knutsford whose purpose is wholly or largely to benefit the residents of Knutsford
  • For use in connection with a public event taking place in Knutsford

2.8 Licence applications will be considered by the Environment and General Purposes Committee.

2.9 Should any organisation or person wish to appeal against the refusal of a licence or the enforcement or application of this policy they must notify the Town Clerk in writing giving their reasons contesting the decision. The appeal will be heard at the next ordinary meeting of the committee and the decision shall be final.



3.1 On discovering an unlicensed use of the crest or shield the user shall be written to, briefly explaining the heraldic law and requiring its removal within 28 days.

3.2 Should the user refuse or fail to remove the crest or shield, the matter shall be referred to the Environment and General Purposes Committee to consider whether legal proceedings should be commenced through the Court of Chivalry.

Annex A: Definitions

The Heraldic Arms of Knutsford Town Council

The Crest

The shield of Knutsford Town Conucil

The Shield

Annex B: Explanatory of Armorial Bearings

The official blazon (heraldic description) is:

Arms  Azure a Saltire between in chief and base two Garbs and in fesse as many Fleurs de Lys Or on a Chief barry wavy of four of the first and Argent an Antique Crown Gules.

Crest Out of a Mural Crown Gules charged with four Lozenges conjoined in fesse Or a demi-Lion of the first about the neck a Garland of May flowered and leaved proper and holding in the paws an open Book also proper edged and bound Gold.

Motto ‘RESPICE ASPICE PROSPICE’ – Look to the Past, the Present and the Future.


The Town Council’s Armorial Bearings comprise a story of the Town.

The blue and gold shield represents the liveries of the Earldom and County of Chester. The cross represents Cross Town, which is now part of Knutsford. The Cheshire sheaves represent Over Knutsford and Nether Knutsford, once separate townships joined together in 1895 when the Urban District Council was created.

The fleur-de-lys are from the arms of the two Leycester families who were lords of Tabley and Toft whilst the blue and white waves with ancient crown represent the legend of King Canute fording a river in the Town.

The red walled crown represents Halton Castle and, with the gold lozenges, these represent William Fitznigel, Baron of Halton who under the Norman Earl of Chester first held the Manor of Knutsford.

The red lion represents the arms of Egerton (of Tatton Park) and Leigh families, and around its neck is a garland of May for the famous Royal May Day celebrations. The lion holds a book in reference to Mrs Gaskell and the ancient Grammar School.