Test Valley Borough Coat of Arms

History and Coat of Arms

Test Valley came into existence as a district council in April 1974, following Local Government reorganisation. This brought together the areas formerly administered by two Borough Councils (Andover and Romsey) and two Rural District Councils (Andover and Romsey & Stockbridge). Test Valley was granted Borough Council status two years later. Following a periodic review of council boundaries, the Parish of South Tidworth and the community of Faberstown, previously within Test Valley, were included in the area of Kennet District Council, Wiltshire, from April 1992.

Test Valley has an area of about 250 square miles, and includes three towns (Andover, Stockbridge and Romsey) and some 59 civil parishes. Its population is in excess of 116,000.

Test Valley's Armorial Bearings

Composition:
The armorial bearings consist of: shield, crest, supporters and motto.

The shield represents the basic character of the whole area, while the crest and supporters relate to the individual constituent areas through their former arms or devices.

Description:
The shield displays, on a green background, a broad white wave and two narrow ones representing the River Test and its tributaries over which leaps a brown trout, symbolising the name and character of Test Valley. Above the shield is the closed helm proper to civic arms, with its crest-wreath and decorative mantling or tournament cloak in the basic colours of the shield, green and white.

On the wreath stands the crest. At the base is the mural or crenellated crown from Romsey's crest, from which rises the grassy hill with the red lion from Andover's shield. Behind the lion stands the crosier from the arms of Romsey which refers to Romsey Abbey, and, in the wider context, to other monastic foundations in the Borough area. Growing from the grassy mound are two stalks of wheat representing the former Rural Districts of Andover, Romsey and Stockbridge. The crest thus unites symbolically all the four constituent areas.

The supporters pursue the same theme. On the left is a golden 'hart royal' (a stag with twelve points) from the crest of Andover, collared with a green ribbon from which hangs a crest-wreath or 'torse' of the Andover colours, green and white, enclosing the oak tree from the Andover shield which is also appropriate to the Andover Rural District. Balancing this supporter is the hart from the Romsey arms in its natural colours, also wearing a green ribbon with a torse in the Romsey colours, red and gold, enclosing the gold portcullis from the ancient seal and the shield of Romsey. This was also used by the Romsey and Stockbridge R.D.C.

There is also a badge (illustrated below) used for purposes where the complete arms would be unsuitable. The badge unites the urban and rural areas with the brown trout from the shield leaping through the mural crown from the crest. A principal use is as the only part of the armorial bearings which can be properly displayed by local organisations to denote their local affiliations.

The badge:
The motto, based on a suggestion from a school in the Borough, gives a typical heraldic play on the name: DEO TESTE VALEAMUS, which may be translated as 'With God as our witness, let us be strong'.

The armorial bearings and civic insignia were designed by H. Ellis Thomlinson, M.A., F.H.S.

Official Blazon (in Heraldic language):
Arms:
Vert a pale cotised all wavy argent, over all a trout leaping to dexter proper.
Crest:
On a wreath of the colours, out of a mural crown gules a mount vert, thereon between two stalks of wheat leaved and issuant, in front of a crosier erect the head to the sinister of a lion statant quardant gules.
Supporters:
On the dexter side of a hart royal or, gorged with riband vert, pendent there from by a ring argent a circular torse argent and vert enclosing an oak tree throughout and on the sinister side a hart royal proper gorged with a like riband pendent there from by a like ring a circular torse or and gules enclosing a portcullis throughout chained or.
Motto: DEO TESTE VALEAMUS.

Test Valley Borough Council's logo
In 1989, the Borough Council adopted a new corporate identity, to be used on stationery, publications, vehicles, uniforms and facilities. This identity was refreshed in 2013. The revised identity was created in-house and appeared on social media, online channels and electronic communications immediately. It will be rolled out over time within existing budgets as print and display materials need updating.

The design brings together three elements:

  • the trout as a representation of the previous logo and symbol of Test Valley
  • a 'modern/confident' presentation of the name Test Valley
  • a corporate colour

Use of the armorial bearings or logo by third parties
Please note that the armorial bearings are not images that can be reproduced for any purpose other than for the business of the Council.

If you would like to use the Council's logo for any purpose, please contact the Communications Team to ensure its use is approved. We do not normally permit other organisations to use our logo to endorse or promote products or services as the Council cannot be seen to favour one organisation over another.

If you have any queries please contact the Communications Team.

Gallery

  • Test Valley Trout
  • Borough Coat of Arms