The Ferrers Arms
Everywhere you look in the house you will see the Ferrers coat of arms. It’s above the door as you enter, in the windows, on the fireplaces and even in the garden!
The arms were adopted by William Ferrers, 1st Baron Groby (1272-1325). They originally belonged to the de Quincy family, but that family died out in 1264 with the death of Roger de Quincy. William had married Roger’s eldest daughter and so became entitled to use the arms.
" Gules, seven mascles or conjoined 3,3,1 "
Much heraldic language derives from Norman French, so “gules” means red and “or” is gold. A “mascle” is a “voided lozenge” – a diamond shaped object with a diamond-shaped hole in the middle.
Henry Ferrers the Antiquary started the tradition of installing stained glass windows to commemorate marriages with his own to Jane White in 1582. In this window the Ferrers arms are “impaled” with the White arms – the coat of arms is divided down the middle to show both families. Further family connections are shown as “quarterings”. This doesn’t necessarily mean divided in four, some can be very complex. There is a window in St Michael’s Church with no less than 32 quarterings!
St Michael’s church has many more examples of the arms, not least on the painted “table tomb” of Sir Edward Ferrers, who died in 1535.
A book called Heraldry at Baddesley Clinton by Dr. Bernard Juby, Clem Hindmarch and Mary Tweddle goes into much more detail on the subject and explains all the windows and other examples of the arms throughout the house. It is available from our bookshop.