Leatherhead

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LEATHERHEAD

Incorporated into : 1974 Mole Valley

Arms (crest) of Leatherhead

Official blazon

Arms : Per saltire Vert and barry wavy of six Argent and Azure in chief Flames proper encircled by a Chain of Square Links in base a Stag's Head caboshed Or between the attires an open Book proper bound and clasped also Or.
Crest : On a Wreath of the Colours issuant from a Wreath of Oak Leaves fructed proper a Swan rousant Argent the sinister wing charged with a Sword point upward Gules.
Motto : 'SERVICE LINKS ALL'

Origin/meaning

The arms were officially granted on May 6, 1946.

The green sections of the field denote the rural nature of the area and suggest the Surrey Hills sloping down to the valley of the Mole. The blue and white wavy lines represent the waters of the River Mole and the intersection of the diagonal lines also portrays the river crossing (now by bridge) which has existed since very early times and gave rise to the name of Letherhead, 'the public riding ford'.

The four sections of the shield also refer to the four wards of the District. The chief contains symbols, that form an original and perpetual memorial to the citizen army of World War II. The local Civil Defence Services on disbandment provided, by subscription from their ranks an heraldic memorial to their colleages who died. The flame portrays the fire of the enemy, encircled or contained by a chain of portcullis in gold, emblem of defence and security representing the unity and strength of the Civil Defence Services of the four wards. The arms are thus unique in civic heraldry in that they represent Civil Defence.

The stag's head on a background of the green or parkland is a link with the times when deer abounded in the locality and has special reference to the deer park, Ashtead. The open book refers to the excellent education facilities in the District.

The swan is a reminder of the old coaching days and of the Old Swan Inn which until recent years stood at the crossroads in the centre of the town, it also refers to the river and other water in the area. The red sword on the left wing refers to the association of the City of London (the City's arms contain a red sword of St. Paul), and the district through the City Freeman's School, at Ashtead, and is also a reference to the war services which the arms commemorate.
The wreath of oak alludes to rural Surrey and has reference to the arms of the County Council.


Literature : Image and information from here


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