Gateshead Symbols

There have been a number of different symbols used to represent Gateshead over the years. The most obvious one is that of a goat's head (from which the town takes it's name). Until the 1830's the coat of arms normally found comprised a goat's head in a shield, with a goat's head perched on the top. From the 1830's a new design appeared with the goat's head within the shield replaced by a gate tower. At some stage during the mid 19th century, a motto appears "caput inter nubila condit" - usually translated as "it's head is hidden in the clouds" (it is actually taken from a section in Virgil's Aenid concerning the effect of rumour - a curious passage to use). The coat of arms was unofficial and varied slightly until the 1930's when the Court of Heralds embellished and standardised it. In 1974 the old Gateshead council was incorporated into a new metropolitan borough, with a new symbol made up of a porcullis and helmet. There is also a coat of arms, which appears to have no continuity with previous symbols used for the town, but which is only found on road signs on the Borough boundaries.

1932 Coat of Arms 1

The Gateshead coat of arms as remodelled by the Court of Heralds in 1932

1932 Coat of Arms 2

The coat of arms as it appears on 1 Church Street (the building at the southern end of the Tyne Bridge)

Coat of Arms on War Memorial

This version of the coat of arms appears on the War Memorial at the junction of Prince Consort Road and Durham Road

Coat of Arms on George Charlton Memorial

The memorial in Saltwell Park commemorates George Charlton, Mayor of Gateshead, 1873-4

Pub Sign 1

Sign at the Borough Arms pub, Bensham Road

Pub Sign 2

Sign at the Gateshead Arms pub, Durham Road, Low Fell

Co-op Coat of Arms

The coat of arms seen on the Co-op building in Jackson Street (dated 1881)

Boundary Token - 1824 Perambulation
The original Gateshead coat of arms with two goats heads appears on this token minted to commemorate the parade of parish officials around the boundaries of the parish. This was the last time this took place before Gateshead became a Borough in 1835.

Boundary Token - 1836 Perambulation
In the first year of the new Borough of Gateshead, George Hawks the first mayor revived the old traditions by parading around the boundaries of the Borough.

Boundary Token - 1849 Perambulation
In 1849, George Hawks was serving his second term as Mayor, and the peramulation was revived once more. The next, and what was also the final perambulation took place in 1857.

Gateshead Arms - Cigarette Silk

New Coat of Arms 1

The new coat of arms is rarely used by the council - seen here on sign at the end of the Redheugh Bridge

New Coat of Arms 2

New coat of arms seen in close up

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