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Armorial panels

- panels on a building, situated either internally or externally, but usually prominently positioned above the main entrance, which contains the coat of arms of the owner. Armory is the science of heraldry, the laws which govern the use of coats of arms and all of the associated decoration. Heraldry has a long history, going back some 800 years, during which it has been used for both practical and decorative purposes. The laws of heraldry were well developed by the early 1300s and were recognised throughout most of Europe. Initially developed to provide recognition on the battlefield, armorial designs were soon transferred to buildings where they not only provided decoration, they could demonstrate ancestry, status, national identity, proof of ownership,and personal allegiance and belief. Traditionally, armorial panels were associated with priviledge and domestic buildings, but from the mid 1800s they were also used to represent civic pride and corporate interests and came to adorn a wide range of public, commercial and industrial buildings. Not confined to any particular style of architecture, armorial panels can be found inside and out, on virtually any part of a building from doorway to pediment, and in a variety of materials from stone to timber and metal. Coade stone was commonly used.

Glossary
Achievement - the total composition of shield and all other associated parts.
Armiger - a person entitled by law to display arms, which states his or hers identity.
Blazon - a specification for a coat of arms, also used to describe that particular coat of arms.
Charges - elements of decoration such as roses or small shield shapes, which appear on the surface of the shield.
Coronets - (also helmets crowns etc) usually shown at the top (chief) of the shield, they proclaim status.
Crest - a term often wrongly used, it is the device which sits on top of the coronet.
Furs - the patterns used to provide a background on the shield.
Ordinaries - bold geometric patterns such as chevrons placed on a shield.
Shield - the centre of any armorial display, it is divided into points, the surface areas and parts, the shief is the top part, the base the bottom (pointed) part, the dexter the left side as seen, and the sinister is the right side as seen.
Supporters - figures either human, animal or mythical which can be used to support a shield.
Tinctures - the recognised colours, including furs, used in heraldry.