HERALDRY GROUP

Interested in heraldry? get in touch using the 'heraldry' option on the 'Contact Us' page.

The group is a loose association of members who are interested in heraldry and, in particular, the heraldry of the Mortimers. We keep in touch mainly by email and meet occasionally to visit sites of interest.

Our individual interests and objectives vary somewhat, but here are some of the things we are interested in:

  1. building as complete a database as we can of examples of early Mortimer heraldry from documents, seals, floor tiles, stained glass, tombs etc;
  1. cataloguing the 100-or-so minor variations that occur in the basic Mortimer shield, researching the reasons for these variations and attempting to associate them with particular people or branches of the family;
  1. tracing the reason for the Mortimer quarterings that appear in the coats of arms of other families, especially after the main Mortimer line expired in 1425;
  1. sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm to encourage others to become interested and possibly join us.

PREVIOUS ACTIVITIES

Friday 17th January 2014 - Visit to Ockwells Manor in Berkshire

On 16th January a party of ten MHS members descended on Maidenhead to hear about, and visit, Ockwells Manor, an outstanding 15th century house which contains the best domestiic pre-Reformation stained glass in the country. This consists of 18 coats of arms including one attributed to Sir Hugh Mortimer of Martley and Tedstone Wafre (d1460) a direct descendant of Roger Mortimer of Chirk (d1326) whose effigy is in Martley church. Included in our party was Pat Sargent, an American member who came over specially from Akron, Ohio. Back home she is a volunteer supporter at Stan Hywet Hall, a 65-room mansion modelled on Ockwells, Compton Wynyates and Haddon Hall. click here for more details

Saturday 12th October 2013 - Study Day - Introducing Heraldry - with a flavour of Mortimer

This study day was very successful and resulted in several new recruits to the Heraldry Group. To see the full report on the Recent Events page click here

Thursday 16th May 2013 - Visit to Martley and Ribbesford churches in Worcestershire by members of the Heraldry group

Five of us spent a pleasant day in Worcestershire examining a Mortimer effigy and a coat of arms in these churches. Martley is near Worcester, a small village that was once part of the lordship of Sir Hugh Mortimer, a direct descendant of Roger Mortimer of Chirk (d1326). Sir Hugh died at the battle of Wakefield in 1460. He was a supporter of Richard, Duke of York who was executed after surrendering to the Lancastrians. At least sixteen other nobles were killed and at least 2000 Yorkist soldiers were buried in a mass grave.

Whether Sir Hugh was buried at Martley is open to debate but there is a rather fine alabaster effigy of a man in 15th century armour, his head resting on a knight’s helm. The effigy, although worn and minus its hands, has a chain around the neck bearing the Yorkist insignia of the 'sun in splendour' and the 'rose en soleil'. At his feet is a carving of a lion. Sir Hugh inherited from his brother at the age of 7. At the age of 42 he married Eleanor Cornewall who went on to remarry into the Croft family, dying at the age of nearly 90. Sir Hugh and Lady Eleanor had 2 children. Their son died without issue in the early 16thC but their daughter married into the West family and it is they that inherited the Manors of Martley and Kyre.

Martley church has some medieval wall paintings and lots of wall plaques and floor grave markers commemorating people of the same families going back several generations. There is also a splendid royal coat of arms which one of our party identified as probably belonging to George I.

Ribbesford church is close to the river Severn, a few miles from Bewdley.The church dates back to the 11thC.and if ever there was a village, there is little to show now. There is a Norman tympanum (semi circular stone above the doorway) with an archer trying to kill something - a seal? a salmon? or a monster? - and there is carving around the doorway recognisant of the Herefordshire school of sculpture (cf Kilpeck). Inside the church is a row of oak pillars over 500 years old and unique for Worcestershire. It is recorded that Simon of Ribbesford held the manor from Roger Mortimerin 1176, but the Priory of Worcester regarded themselves as overlords of the manor and claimed that the Mortimers had taken it from them. In 1260 the Mortimers claimed that the manor belonged to Wigmore and was held from the king by Barony. After 1337 the manor was returned as belonging to the Mortimers.

Inside the church is what appears to be a stone coffin lid inscribed With the Mortimer arms. Just how old it is, or to whom it belonged is a mystery. But we do know that the Mortimers were once involved with this tiny village.

Sources:
Bewdley civic society
Martley village web site(The Mortimers)