The
Armorial Bearings
of the Borough
of
Limavady

The crest of Limavady Borough

As the crest of the borough is rather more crowded than Limavady itself, I'll present a somewhat lengthy heraldic explanation (freely borrowed from the official guide to the town).  

The coat of arms consists of:

  • Shield
  • Crest
  • Helmet
  • Motto
  • Supporters and
  • Mantling.

The lower half of the shield uses the former coat of arms of the old Limavady district council. It shows two crossed bands with shells. This is taken from the coat of arms of the Connolly family who owned all the land around Limavady from 1697.

The upper part of the shield is a wavy blue band. This is taken from the Phillips coat of arms. The Phillips also owned all the land around Limavady until they sold it to the Connolly clan. As the Phillips had received the land as a grant from James I (in 1612) they must have made a tidy profit from the transaction. (Dealing in land is still very profitable in the town, so not much has changed over the years.)

The same blue band also features in the arms of the Haberdashers' company, who owned a lot of land around Ballykelly. On the blue band are two sets of crossed fish, which were taken from the arms of the O'Cahan family and the Fishmongers' Company. Between the fish sits St. Columba in his boat. He came to visit the Convention of Drumceatt in 575, just outside the town. He must have travelled up the river Roe in this boat, although I for one don't believe that he was that big, or alternatively, that he managed to stay afloat in such a tiny craft.

The crest on top of the helmet shows a mural crown, denoting the Borough status of the council. Inside this is a rock from which an Irish wolfhound leaps. This is taken from the famous O'Cahan tale explained elsewhere. The dog is carrying a broken lance from the Crest of the Phillips family.

How the creature managed to take off at all - carrying all that useless weight - is a mystery that I am at a loss to explain.

The supporters are from the Phillips and O'Cahan arms. On the left is a sinister looking cat_a_mountain, (O'Cahan) joined on the right by a dexterous black lion, (Phillips). They appear to be giving a cats' concert.

Below the shield is the motto: ABSIT INVIDIA which means "Let there be no ill-will"; a most admirable motto if adhered to.


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