Friday, 30 July 2010

Cheshire Heraldry Society - Heraldry Outing.

Yesterday saw a very good turn out for The Cheshire Heraldry Society's summer outing. Thanks to the organising ability of Society Chairman, Harold Storey, members and guests were saturated with the colour and splendour of the heraldry of the Crewe family.

Crewe Arms

We met just before mid-day at St.Bertoline's Church at Barthomley; this is the church of the Crewe family and is the final resting place of the Garter banner and Crest of the 1st Marquess of Crewe who died in 1945 when the title became extinct.

Garter banner and crest of the 1st Marquess of Crewe

After lunch we made our way to Crewe Hall where, I think it is safe to say, we were overawed by the sheer quality and quantity of heraldry dedicated to the Crewe and allied families. Crewe Hall is lavishly decorated with heraldry which sets out the rich and personal history of those who were once privileged to call it their home. I took over 170 photographs in the Hall alone and I know that I didn't capture all of the shields, achievements, crests and heraldic beasts which adorn this heraldryadict's dream home.

Crewe Hall

Lord Crewe and five generations of his family enjoyed this house from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century. Charles Dicken's grandmother and grandfather were housekeeper and butler and records show that Royal visitors were often entertained in the house which from 1936 to 1998 was owned by the Duchy of Lancaster. During the second world war the house was home to many soldiers from the allied nations who must have enjoyed the benefit of the extensive grounds for their perambulations. Since 1998 Crewe Hall has been a hotel and the owners have retained and maintained all the splendour of the house including, thankfully, all of its heraldry. Well done Harold for negotiating our complete freedom to roam as we wished and photograph what we liked and thanks to the management and guests for putting up with us.

Crewe-hall-bishops

At about 3.30 in the afternoon I left for home but most of the group went on to enjoy the delights of Nantwich Church described by Raymond Richards as "One of the great architectural treasures of Cheshire". Although I didn't manage to stay with the truly dedicated who went on to Nantwich, I can say that in regard to the Crewe heraldry, my cup ranneth over.

Crewe Hall Staircase

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