Figure with Shield ('Everyman')
A statue of a young man in medieval dress supporting a shield. His stance is casual, and he is depicted in a simplified and elongated manner, wearing sandals, tunic, trousers and a cloak. The cloak is tattered and torn, perhaps as if in battle, or perhaps reflecting his lowly position as a servant.
The statue was commissioned as part of the building in 1964 and is commonly believed to represent the idea of 'everyman'.(3)
The shield is that of the former Stratford Borough. After the local government reorganisation of 1974 the arms of the former Stratford Borough were transferred by the Earl Marshal to Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council.
The coat of arms is gold, a chevron azure between three leopards faces. Another version made the field silver and the chevron red. The leopards' faces were probably derived from the Royal Arms which show three lions passant guardant (standing with right paw raised), anciently termed a lion leopardé. Several ancient towns placed the Royal Arms of England on their seals and when adopting arms of their own took the three royal lions as a basis, simply changing the colour of the field or making additions.(1)
In the Middle Ages, the Bailiff and Burgesses used for arms Argent, a fesse varing gules and or, between these leopards' faces gable. The Charter of 1553 gave to Bailiff and Burgesses various privileges, among which was the right to a Common Seal. The first Common Seal of 1553, has it on a florid shield charged with a chevron between three leopard's faces.(2)
PMSA recording information