Penwith

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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
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PENWITH

Additions : 1974 Penzance (Borough), Saint Ives (Borough), Saint Just UDC, West Penwith RDC
Incorporated into : 2009 Cornwall

Arms (crest) of Penwith

Official blazon

Arms : Or on a Chevron enarched between in chief two Cornish Luggers Sable sails set Gules and in base within an Annulet Sable a Cross Pommy Gules four Bezants conjoined by a Chain throughout Gold.
Crest : On a Wreath Or and Sable within a Mural Crown of six Merlons Argent garlanded with Ivy a Mount thereon in front of a representation of the Mine Stack on Cape Cornwall a Paschal Lamb proper nimbed Gold.
Supporters : Two Cornish Choughs reguardant proper each gorged with a Riband pendent therefrom by a Ring the Head of a Cornish Cross Gold.
Motto : 'KENSA HA DEWETHA' - First and last

Origin/meaning

The arms were officially granted on February 12, 1981.

The chevron, black on gold to give the Cornwall County and Duchy liveries, suggests the shape of the Penwith peninsula with to the South St. Michael's Mount, represented by the traditional cross of St. Michael set on a black edged roundel. Above the chevron are two typical Cornish luggers, black with red sails, indicating the fishing and boat building industries. On the chevron are four bezants (gold roundels) from the arms of Cornwall, joined by links to represent the amalgamation of four Cornish Authorities in Penwith. The shield thus follows the topographical symbolism of the former R.D.C. in a slightly different form, with the addition of a specific reference to the new constitution.

Above the shield is the usual helmet with its crest wreath and flowing decorative mantling in the main colours of the Arms, the Cornish black and gold. Upon the wreath is the Crest. At the base is the mural crown common to the arms of West Penwith and Penzance, in white, showing four merlons or battlements for the four authorities. The crown is wreathed with ivy from the seal of St. Ives; in it is a hill from the West Penwith crest, referring to agriculture. On the hill stands the emblem of St. Just U.D.C., the Mine Stack on Cape Cornwall, an allusion to the local mining industry. This is also represented by the Paschal Lamb from the Penzance shield, which was the 'hot mark' of Gulval used in the tin mining of the area. All four constituent areas are thus combined in the crest as they are in a less specific way in the arms.

The supporters are two Cornish coughs, seen in the County and West Penwith Crests; with their black plumage and distinctive red beaks and legs they blend with the colouring of the shield. For distinction, each has about the neck a gold ribbon from which hangs a typical Cornish cross head, also in gold, many of which testify to the antiquity of the Penwith area, and turns its head as if looking back into history.

The Motto is in Cornish, translating the well known phrase 'First and Last' applied to the situation of Land's End.


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Literature : Information provided by Laurence Jones (laurencejones@eircom.net)


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