Friday, 20 April 2012

Towering achievement

There are eleven Pantons listed in Burke’s General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, some differenced versions of others, but none of them an exact match for what we have here. One corresponds in some parts, however. It is given as follows:
‘Per chev. gu. and or, in chief two towers ar. in base a lion ramp az. Crest: A lion couchant, the tail between the hind legs, az. bezantée.’
So the shield would look like this:
(Image created by me using software from
Close, but some simple errors (e.g. reading the chevron as a charge rather than a division), which leads me to suspect that whoever drew up the original design for this signboard misread or misinterpreted the blazon.
And does it have anything to do with the pub? I very much doubt it. The ‘Arms’ bit of the name seems a late and aggrandising addition (cf. the Kingston Arms) for what was once the Panton Brewery tap. The brewery itself gets its name from the street on which it sits, which was in turn named after one ‘Polite’ Tommy Panton, son of Thos. Panton (chief groom or equerry to King George II). In 1806 Tommy was instrumental in getting Parliament to pass the Barnwell Enclosures Act, which allowed this area of Cambridge to be developed. (See the History of Gwydir Street for more.) But I would be very surprised if he was an armiger, and even more surprised if these were his.