B3The College of Arms is an important Grade 1 listed building dating from the 1670s, with significant later alterations. The final phase of a major programme of restoration of brickwork and pointing, and of repairs to the windows, has now been completed. This three-year programme, somewhat delayed by the pandemic, has seen the removal of all cementitious mortars, cleaning of the brickwork, and removal of decayed architraves and windows. It has included the repair and restoration of the decorative stonework including the examination and removal of over twenty layers of paint. Historic repairs from the mid-twentieth century had made wide use of cement, dyed and decorated to appear as bricks. These all needed to be removed and replaced.

The final phase, the elevation on Godliman Street, which originally contained the arched coaching entrance to the College before the remodelling in the 1860s, was particularly challenging due to the alignment of bricks in the southwest corner on Queen Victoria Street.

Restoration work revealed elements of the original stone arch on this fa├žade, that had not been fully removed as originally assumed, but decoratively covered. Fastenings for the Royal Arms were still clearly visible, as was evidence of early tuck pointing behind a layer of brickwork. Paint analysis of some of the older windows that had been sealed for many years revealed the window decorations from the mid-1800s in brown and cream, in keeping with the fashion of that time.

The works were completed by lead contractor Fullers Builders under the guidance of Richard Griffiths Architects.

Sir David Amess MP

15 October 2021

Following the death of Sir David Amess MP, instructions have been received that HM Government Departments should lower their Union flags to half mast as soon as possible today until 2000 on Monday 18 October.

Any other UK national flags flown alongside the Union Flag when it is at half-mast should also be at half-mast. If a flag of a foreign nation is normally flown on the same stand as the Union Flag, it should be removed.

Following government advice the College of Arms has now re-opened to the public. All are welcome to visit, and see the Earl Marshal's Court, on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Enquiries may also be made by telephone on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on (+44) 207 248 2762, by email addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through the form on this website here

Woodcock Sir Thomas cropped

Sir Thomas Woodcock, KCVO, Garter King of Arms, retired from the College of Arms on 30 June 2021. He graduated from Durham University, and then read for an LLB at Cambridge, before being called to the Bar at the Inner Temple. In 1975 he joined the heraldic practice of Sir Anthony Wagner, Garter King of Arms, and was appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1978. He became Somerset Herald in 1982. In 1997 he was promoted to Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, and was appointed Garter Principal King of Arms on 1 April 2010 in succession to Sir Peter Gwynn-Jones. He was Librarian of the College of Arms until 2010, overseeing the archive and conservation departments. Sir Thomas was Genealogist of the Order of the Bath and of the Order of St John; and served as Inspector of Regimental Colours, and of RAF Badges, as well as being Advisor on Naval Heraldry to the Royal Navy from 1996 to 2021. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and has published widely on heraldic and related subjects; and he was the editor of the Dictionary of British Arms, bringing to publication decades of work by different scholars on sources for medieval heraldry. He was appointed Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in 1996, being promoted to Commander in 2011 and Knight Commander of the Order in 2021. He has been a Deputy Lieutenant for Lancashire since 2005.

Sir Thomas Woodcock is succeeded by David Vines White, now Garter King of Arms. David White was appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1995 and was promoted to Somerset Herald in 2004. He was the Registrar of the College of Arms from 2014 to 2021. The London Gazette notice of his appointment can be seen here.

 

The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 1 July 2021 to appoint David Vines White, Esquire, lately Somerset Herald, to the office of Garter Principal King of Arms, vacant by the retirement of Sir Thomas Woodcock, KCVO.

David White was appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1995 and was promoted to Somerset Herald in 2004. He was the Registrar of the College of Arms from 2014 to 2021.

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