GMS News 109 January 2018





A happy New Year to everyone




The Crayford Coat of Arms

Iedward_crayford_arms never paid much attention to the coat of arms above the Edward Crayford memorial in the Lady Chapel until I started to produce a guide for St. Martin’s. We are familiar with the Crayford arms which appears each month on the masthead of this publication, described as Or on a chevron Vert three hawks’ heads erased Argent; In other words, gold (Yellow) with a greenchevron and three silver (white) hawks heads torn off at the bottom. Fossey and Hasted describe them as eagles’ heads and Philipott describes them as falcons. The monument shows the Crayford arms quartered with two other heraldry devices. In the second quarter is a saltire argent (diagonal cross) on a sable (black) field, an annulet for difference. This is the ring above the saltire and indicates that the senior holder of the device was still alive.

Crayford_memoriaThe device in the third quarter is described by NADFAS in their record of the church furnishings as Sable three griffins sans wings statant (Or). However Fossey describes it as Azure (blue) 3 hogs or. The background could well have been blue, and darkened with time. However griffins without wings or boars (more likely than hogs) with curly tails? Who knows?

It was common practice that on acquiring property through marriage, elements of the wife’s arms would be incorporated. However I have been unable to trace the origins of the devices in quarters 1 and 3. The lion rampant (standing up) at the bottom of the memorial is the device of the Norton  family of Anne, Edward’s wife.









January Meeting

Sarah_GrazebrookCrooked_Pieces_coverSarah Grazebrook’s novel, Crooked Pieces, tells the story of Maggie whose new position as a maid lifts her from East End poverty and brings her into the world of the suffragettes,.

Sarah was a  TV actress with parts in iconic series such as All Creatures Great and Small and The Professionals but became a writer following the birth of her second child. She has since written several novels . Her first novel, Not Waving, won the Cosmopolitan Fiction Prize .

Sarah will draw on her knowledge of the Suffragette movement to tell us about her novel. 




This June marks the tenth anniversary of  the GMS Notes, so I thought I might update  some of the earlier articles. I will start with Village Roofs which I wrote for the  July 2008 edition.

Village Roofs

Saxon and mediaeval houses of wattle and daub were usually thatched, although  hand made tiles would have been used on some of the grander houses, particularly in later mediaeval times. Thatch continued to be the material of choice into the eighteenth century when mechanisation of many of the processes allowed

cheaper tiles to be produced. The rear building of Champlain’s well (left) was built in the late seventeenth century with a peg tile roof. However the older, 16th century front building had a thatched roof until the middle of the 20th century. The photograph (below) shows how peg tiles were hung. Oak pegs were wedged into the holes so that the tiles could be hung over chestnut battens.

The nineteenth century saw the development of flued chimneys and the increasing use of coal as a fuel. Sparks from chimney fires falling on thatch caused several serious fires in the village. In consequence many roofs had their thatch replaced by tiles or slate. However some, such as 18th century Pippin Cottage (left) retained a thatched roof well into the 20th century.

The coming of the railway to Deal in 1847 allowed the importation of Welsh slate which was much cheaper than tiles. Houses built after that date, and well into the twentieth century all have slate roofs. Because of the increasing cost of thatch many older buildings now also have slate roofs although two houses retain their thatched roofs to this day.

In the later twentieth century mass produced concrete tiles became the most common choice for roofing. Now with composite imitation slate and a whole range of other materials there is more variety than ever. The type of roofing can give some indication of when the house was last re-roofed but other evidence is needed to determine the age of the house. 

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