Bridgend Bridge

Coats of Arms

Bridgend Town Crest

Armorial Bearings – later to be called ‘Arms’ – originated as the design placed on their shields, by knights, as a form of identification. In the 14th Century they began to wear sleeveless tunics (surcoats) over their armour and put their ‘Arms’ on them too; thus the surcoats came to be known as ‘Coats of Arms’.

Civic heraldry as such came into being about the beginning of the 14th Century, but civic ‘Coats of Arms’ were not officially recorded before the 16th Century.

 The College of Arms – the sole judges and arbiters for the ‘grant of Arms’ in England (including Wales) – initially granted the Coat of Arms to Bridgend Urban District Council on 18th June 1951.

Under the 1974 Local Government reorganisation Bridgend Urban District and Penybont Rural District Councils were disbanded and replaced by Ogwr Borough Council with Bridgend Town Council coming into being as a community council within the Borough.

 The Town Council applied for the adoption of the Bridgend Urban District’s Coat of Arms. This was granted by Order of Her Majesty the Queen on 16th April 1975

 The emblem used by the Town Council is the Coat of Arms with Crest The ‘blazon’ (heraldic description of the shield) is as follows: Vert (green), a salmon leaping to the dexter (right-left to the observer) proper (in natural colouring), on a chief sable (black band) a bridge of two arches masoned Or (gold).

 The ‘Crest’ adorns the knight’s helmet, the heraldic description being: A wreath of the colours (green gold), a raven Proper (in natural colouring) between the two garbs (sheaves of wheat) or (gold).

 The ‘Motto’, written in medieval Welsh: A Vo Penn Bit Pont; has its origin in the Mabinogion. Translated by Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones (published by J. M. Dent and Sons, 1974), the relevant quotation below is from the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, namely Branwen, daughter of Lyr Bendigeidfran came to land and a fleet with him, towards the bank of the river. ‘Lord’, said his noblemen, ‘thou knowest the peculiarity of the river: none can go through it, not is there a bridge over it. What is thy counsel as to a bridge?’ said they. ‘There is none’, said he, ‘Save that “He Who Is Chief, Let Him Be A Bridge”. I will myself be a bridge’, said he. And then, was that saying first uttered, and it is still used as a proverb. And then, after he had lain him down across the river, hurdles were placed upon him, and his hosts passed through over him.