Calderdale's Coat of Arms

Calderdale Coat of Arms

Designed by H. Ellis Tomlinson, the Coat of Arms were granted and assigned on 1st November 1977 when Borough status was conferred on the Council.

Official description

Arms: Vert a Paschal Lamb proper supporting over the shoulder a cross staff or, flying there from a forked pennon of St George, between in chief a bar wavy argent charged with a barrulet wavy azure and in base a rose argent barbed and seeded proper.

Crest: On a wreath argent and vert, out of a mural crown a rose tree of nine branches proper, each terminating in a rose argent barbed and seeded proper.

Supporters: On either side a lion or gorged with a collar wavy azure and holding aloft in the interior forepaw a crescent sable.

Badge: A rose of nine petals argent barbed proper and charged with a roundel vert thereon a bar wavy argent charged with a barrulet wavy azure.


The shield is a general expression of the identity of the area as a Yorkshire wool-producing area under the name Calderdale. The crest symbolizes the union of nine Yorkshire areas in one authority, more specifically identified by the supporters taken from the arms of the three former boroughs. The badge epitomizes the symbolism of the shield and crest - nine Yorkshire areas combined in Calderdale.

The green shield with its blue wave represents the River Calder and its valley. Below the river is the Paschal Lamb, emblem of St. John the Baptist and of the wool industry.

Above the shield is the closed helmet proper to civic arms, with its crest-wreath and mantling (tournament cloak) in the basic green and white of the shield. Upon the wreath stands the crest; at the base is a mural or walled crown, a familiar emblem for a civic authority, made of the characteristic local stone, from which rise nine white roses joined on a single stem, representing the union of nine Yorkshire areas in one authority.

The supporters give a more definite local identification, being taken from the official arms of the three former boroughs. The gold lions were the supporters of Halifax, and one was the main charge in the Brighouse shield, from which are taken the black crescents held in the lions' paws. Each lion is collared with a wave of blue like that in the shield; this is the central feature of the Todmorden shield, alluding to the calder.

The theme of the motto - Industria, Arte, Prudentia - (by industry, skill and foresight) is suggested by the mottoes of three of the constituent authorities:

  • By Industry we prosper (Todmorden)
  • Labore et Prudential (Brighouse)
  • Arte et Industria (Sowerby).

It refers to the special aptitudes of Calderdale, not only in woollen manufacture, but in all kinds of other trades and activities carried on in the area, including the pursuit of the arts.

Calderdale's badge

The badge

The badge is a part of the armorial bearings but is a separate device, not placed on a shield, and intended for use in various ways for which the whole arms would not be suitable. Badges well known in early heraldy are the Roses of York and Lancaster, the Red Dragon of Wales, the Bear and Ragged Staff of Warwick, the White Boar of Richard III and the Sprig of Broom (planta genista) of the Plantagenets, a major function of the heraldic badge is as the only part of the armorial bearings that may be permitted for display by local organisations as a Calderdale communal emblem. It is essentially an heraldic 'logo'.

The badge is necessarily simple and usually related to the arms. Here it combines the representation of Calderdale in the shield with the nine-part authority in the crest, showing the Calder in its green valley set on a nine-petalled rose of York.

See also