Trafford Coat of Arms

The History of the Coat of Arms

Trafford Coat of Arms 

The shield is divided by the wavy line across the middle, representing the River Mersey cutting across the district. The name Trafford is represented by the griffin of the de Trafford family, who held lands in Stretford and Urmston north of the Mersey and also in Dunham Massey on the other side. In the Urmston arms the family is represented by the griffin, changed from red to gold, in those of Stretford the flail from their crest is used. Here the complete griffin is used.

A griffin is a composite monster, the upper half being that of an eagle and the nether half that of a lion; here the upper part is shown red on white, as in the de Trafford arms, but the lower parts are shown white on red this linking with the lion on red which was part of the arms of Masseys of Dunham Massey, whose barony extended over Dunham, Bowdon, Hale, Altrincham, Partington and Sale. It was from Hamo de Masci that Richard de Trafford received the Lordship of Trafford, including Stretford and lands in Manchester.

The white lion of the Masseys is seen in the arms of Altrincham and Bowdon; it became the crest of the Booths, who held the barony in the 17th century, and from whom it descended to the present Earls of Stamford and Warrington. The red griffin and white lion are thus combined in a Trafford-Massey symbolism which covers the history of the Trafford on both sides of the river.

For further distinctiveness the griffin holds a Greek Tau cross, representing the letter T for the initial of the name. This is divided into green and black, denoting that Trafford is both rural and industrial in character.

This symbolism is carried on more specifically in the crest, which stands on the closed helm, proper to civic arms, with its crest-wreath and mantling in the Trafford colours of red and white, which are also those of the Duttons and Warburtons of Warburton.

In the crest is the forearm from the crest of Stretford, holding two shafts of lightning, coloured blue, to symbolise the electrical industry. These are suggested by the thunderbolt in the Stretford crest, and are crossed in the shape of a Roman X to suggest the ten communities which comprise the new Borough. The arm is charged with the gold cogwheel from the Altrincham arms to indicate the engineering industries. Containing these emblems are two branches of oak in natural colours, taken from the oak-tree in the Urmston arms in reference to the many wooded and rural areas in Trafford.

The supporters are two unicorns, the ermine unicorn supporter of Altrincham and the white one of Sale, each with gold horn, mane and hooves. The ermine unicorn is derived from the crest of the Grey Earls of Stamford and Warrington, which also serves as their supporters. He wears a blue and white barred collar derived from the Grey shield, also seen in the Altrincham arms. This supporter represents not only that borough but also Bowdon, Dunham Massey and Partington; it is part of Bowdon's crest.

The other unicorn is delivered from the crest of the Carringtons, kinsmen of the Massies of Sale, whose three black lozenges or diamonds are also seen in the Carringtons' shield. The unicorn is one of the supporters of Sale, and refers to the family's lands in Sale and Carrington. He is charged on the neck with the three black lozenges from the two families' arms, which appear in those of Sale.

The constituent districts are thus all represented:

Constituent districts represented in the Coat of Arms
Area Represented by 


The Trafford griffin, Mersey/Canal wave, arm and lightning shafts


The Trafford griffin, oak branches and Mersey/Canal wave


The white half of the griffin (the Massey lion), the ermine unicorn and the cogwheel

Dunham Massey

The white half of the griffin and the ermine unicorn


The white unicorn and black lozenges


The white and red crest-wrath from the ancient arms of Warburton and those of Dutton