The Town Crest – Coat of Arms

Because the Coat of Arms in use at Northwich, from the time of the formation of Urban District Council by the Local Government Act 1894, was of a pseudo and unauthorized character, it was determined by the Council to make representations to the Duke of Norfolk, Hereditary Earl Marshal of England, for the purpose of having Armorial Ensigns assigned to the Council. The Duke of Norfolk issued his warrant dated 16th April 1962 authorising the Garter, Clarenceux, Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms, to assign arms to the Northwich Urban District Council. They were granted on September 10th 1962 and formally presented to the Council by Viscount Leverhulme. T.D., Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, on the 12th November, 1962. At the same ceremony certain local industries presented new civic insignia to the Council.

The previous and spurious Coat of Arms had featured very little of the history of Northwich, with the exception of the famous shield of the Earldom of Chester, first used by Ranulph de Blunderville, 6th Earl of Chester, in the 13th century (1200-1230). The new Coat of Arms rectifies this, and symbolizes much more of the history of Northwich both ancient and modern.

ARMS: The three gold wheat sheaves on blue, which appear on the shield are those of the Earldom of Chester. The shield has been differentiated by the reversed Y-shaped figure with wavy edges to represent the confluence of the Rivers Weaver and Dane and define the situation of the town irrespective of the future changes in its boundaries or status.

The wheat sheaves are part of the Civic Heraldry of the County of Cheshire and also relate to the manorial history of the town. They occur in the arms of the Vernon and Leftwich families as well as those of the Earls of Chester.

CREST: Above the shield in blue and white is the closed helm of civic arms, with its crest-wreath and mantle. Blue and white are the heraldic colours for water and mineral springs, indicative of Northwich’s association with the salt industry. They also appear in the colours of the Stanleys (Earls of Derby), and the Venables, holders in chief of Northwich and Witton. A heraldic ship in gold, above the crest, depicts the importance of the Weaver Navigation in the history of Northwich. It replaces the steamship of the previous device. The mainsail bears the wyvern, or two-legged dragon of the Venables family and the other sails a gold star, on red, from the Brunner Mond Arms, and a fountain of white and blue waves from the Mond Crest. This symbol is believed to have been the origin of the ICI Mark. The star and fountain display the connection of Brunner, Mond and Company, the predecessors of ICI with industrial Northwich. Wyvern, once spelt ‘wivre’ and pronounced ‘weever’ is heraldic word play on the river name.

MOTTO: The Latin motto ‘Sal est Vita’ – Salt is Life – is a fitting allusion to Northwich as a principal salt and brine-producing town from Roman times.