Coats of arms
Heraldry is the display of designs and ornaments in the form of coats of arms, shields, seals, flags or emblems, and it is a feature of Gothic architecture.
The Quadrangle contains many depictions of the coats of arms and shields of the University, royalty, Governors, universities, foundation Fellows of Senate and University benefactors - in stone and in stained glass.
In addition to being a gothic feature, this was a means of recognising those who established the University and directed its progress in the early years and those whose generosity contributed to the building of the Quadrangle and the development of the University. Depiction of the Royal coat of arms in the Quadrangle was an indication of the colonists’ loyalty to their sovereign.
View the elements of a coat of arms.
View heraldic symbols used on bosses in the Quadrangle.
View the University of Sydney's coat of arms
View the Royal coat of arms
On this webpage:
- The Great Hall
- The Clock Tower
- The East range
- The Professorial Board Room
- The Nicholson Gateway and Vestibule
- MacLaurin Hall
- The Western Tower
- The Vice-Chancellor's Courtyard
- The North-west range
- The War Memorial Arch
Information comes from "Stained Glass and Stone" by Bertha McKenzie.
Photos are courtesy of the University Secretariat unless otherwise indicated. Click on images for enlargement.
the University of Sydney's coat of arms in stained glass (pictured below, photo, University Archives):
- Find out more about the University's coat of arms.
- Read "‘I Will Achieve’: The Sesquicentenary of the University of Sydney’s Coat of Arms", by Stephen Szabo.
- Read about the University's introduction of a new logo on 11 January 2010.
the Royal coat of arms in stained glass (pictured below):
Coats of arms on the front of the Great Hall:
at the front entrance to the Great Hall - the arms of Sir Charles Nicholson (pictured below) and the Hon Francis Lewis Shaw Merewether on the viewer's left and right respectively:
Coats of arms on the south-facing side wall of the Great Hall:
the arms of Henry Grattan Douglass and Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson (pictured below) face the Anderson Stuart Building.
Coats of arms on the Science Road-facing side wall of the Great Hall:
the arms of the Rt Rev Charles Henry Davis, the Rev Canon Robert Allwood (pictured below), R O'Brien, the Hon James Macarthur, the Hon John Hubert Plunkett and Sir John Bayley Darvall face Science Road.
Coats of arms on the stone corbels supporting the roof beams:
the arms of some contemporary British universities - Cambridge, London, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Queen's (Belfast), Oxford, Durham, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Trinity (Dublin) - and those of the two Australian universities, Sydney and Melbourne, carved by Edwin Colley and dated 1857.
two were painted in 1977 in their correct heraldic colours, and the rest in 1984 (one pictured below).
Coats of arms around the oriel window:
the arms of Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy and his successor, Sir William Denison.
the Royal arms, photo taken by Professor John Smith c1856-59, University of Sydney Archives 809_018, pictured below:
Coat of arms on the east wall of the dais:
those of Edward Deas Thomson (pictured below).
Coats of arms at the top of the Royal, Cambridge and Oxford stained glass windows:
Cambridge window - Royal arms, two supporters, arms of Sir Daniel Cooper (donor) and the University, and mottos of the University and the colony of NSW (pictured below).
Oxford window - Royal arms, two supporters, arms of Sir Charles Nicholson (donor) and the colony, and mottos of the University and the colony; Royal windows - arms of John H Challis (donor) and of all the rulers of England and consorts, from William the Conqueror to Victoria.
Donors' coats of arms at the bottom of the side stained glass windows:
Early Augustan writers window - John Reeve (pictured below).
Anglo-Saxons window - Henry O'Brien; Schoolmen window - Charles Newton; Elizabethan & Jacobean dramatists window - John Dobie; 17th century window - A Moses; Science & Philosophy window - Thomas Barker; Late Augustan writers window - Henry and Alfred Denison; 18th century science, law & investigation window - Thomas W Smart.
Shields on the front of the organ gallery:
Shields of Australian universities - in order of their foundation - were donated by the Chancellor's Committee in 1981 to replace the row of blank shields on the front of the organ gallery. On the left hand side of the organ are: Sydney (1850), Melbourne (1853), Adelaide (1874), Tasmania (1890), Queensland (1909), Western Australia (1911), ANU (1946), UNSW (1949), Monash (1958). On the right hand side (pictured below) are: La Trobe (1964), Macquarie (1964), Newcastle (1965), Flinders (1966), James Cook (1970), Griffith (1971), Murdoch (1973), Deakin (1974), Wollongong (1975) and again Sydney (1875). The photo is courtesy of Nuran Zorlu.
Coats of arms on the east (city-facing) face of the Clock Tower:
the Royal arms in the centre (pictured below).
the University's arms and motto above the doorway.
the arms of Governors Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy on the left of the Royal arms and of Sir William Denison on the right.
in the arch of the doorway, the arms of Sir Charles Nicholson (left) and the Hon Francis Lewis Shaw Merewether (right).
Coats of arms on the west (Quadrangle-facing) face of the Clock Tower:
the University's arms, completed in 1982, in the centre of the rear of the Clock Tower (pictured below).
Coats of arms above the North Vestibule entrance:
over the front doorway the arms of Professor John Woolley to the left of his initials and those of his wife's family (Turner) on the right (pictured below).
Coats of arms above the South Vestibule entrance:
over the front entrance the arms of Sir William Montagu Manning, with his initials "WM" carved on the left and "M" on the right, and the motto underneath: "Viva ut vivas" (Live in order that you may live) (pictured below).
Coats of arms on the far left of the East range:
the 3 components of the University arms - the lion, the open book and the cross with stars - all depicted separately on the far left of the East range (pictured below).
Coat of arms on the south wall of the East range:
Edmund Blacket's coat of arms (pictured below).
Coats of arms on the North Vestibule stained glass window:
two rows of the coats of arms of London, Dublin, Oxford (pictured below), Cambridge and Durham Universities, St Andrews, Glasgow, Sydney, Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities (contemporary British universities).
then two rows of the arms of E Deas Thomson, E W T Hamilton, the Royal arms, C Nicholson and D Cooper, J H Challis, W C Wentworth, J D Maclean (donor of window), T Barker and S K Salting (Foundation Fellows and benefactors).
Coats of arms on the South Vestibule stained glass window:
two rows of the coats of arms of Richard Bourke, George Gipps, Queen Victoria, C A Fitzroy, Alfred Denison, Robert Allwood, John Bede Polding, University of Sydney, J B Darvall and S A Donaldson.
then two rows of the arms of H G Douglass, J H Plunkett, Colony of NSW (pictured below), W Purves, J Dobie, F L S Merewether, B O'Brien, Moses Joseph (donor of the window), J Woolley and W M Manning.
Coat of arms on the stained glass window in the Oriental Studies lobby:
the arms of Sir Charles Nicholson (pictured below).
Coats of arms on the eastern and western walls of the Professorial Board Room:
the arms carved at each end are elements from the University's coat of arms, with the lion and the cross at the eastern end (pictured below), and the book and stars at the western end, decorated with floral motifs.
Coats of arms on the Nicholson Gateway:
the Royal arms over the Gateway (pictured below).
on either side of the Royal arms, the arms of Sir Ronald Crawford Munro-Ferguson and Sir Gerald Strickland.
the Royal arms on a shield held by each of three lions - two on either side of the Gateway and a lion finial on the roof.
in the entrance porch, the arms of Sir William Portus Cullen with the words "ANZAC" and "Suvla" carved above.
Coats of arms on the stained glass windows in the Nicholson Vestibule:
on the left hand Navy Memorial window, crests of USA, naval insignias and Switzerland.
on the middle MacLaurin Memorial window, crests of University of Edinburgh, Royal arms, MacLaurin, University of Sydney, element of the Royal arms (pictured below) and University of St Andrews (pictured below).
in the right hand Navy Memorial window, crests of South Africa, Australia, Medical and Flying corps, Navy, Artillery, Canada and India.
Crests on the south wall of MacLaurin Hall:
32 crests, set in 8 panels, of every Visitor (Governor or Lieutenant-Governor) from 1861-1909 as well as other distinguished officers, benefactors and graduates iincluding Sir Robert Duff; William Lygon, Earl Beauchamp; Sir Harold Rawson; Alexander Macleay; Professor Archibald Liversidge; Sir Joseph Carruthers; Sir Augustus Loftus; Charles Robert, Baron Carrington and Sir Frederick Darley.
one panel of crests (pictured below), Alexander Macleay, Professor Archibald Liversidge, Alexander Macleay again and Sir Joseph Carruthers.
Coats of arms on the western wall of MacLaurin Hall:
the University of Sydney coat of arms (pictured below).
Coats of arms on the roof gables of MacLaurin Hall:
two lion finials each hold the shield from the Royal arms (one pictured below).
Coats of arms on the south face of MacLaurin Hall:
two carvings of the Prince of Wales' feathers (one pictured below).
Crests beneath carved animal heads on the stone corbels supporting the roof beams:
18 copper shields, donated by the NSW Department of Public Works, feature crests of nations whose universities were affiliated with the University in 1909.
on the left, crests of Portugal, France, USA, Canada, India, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and Denmark.
on the right, crests of Norway (pictured below), Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Russie, Austria, Bulgaria and Sweden.
Coats of arms and crests on the inner west wall:
the royal arms in the centre with the shield of Sir Henry Holdsworth Rawson on the left and the arms of Sir Henry Normand MacLaurin (pictured below) on the right.
underneath, the arms of Sir William Charles Windeyer (on the left-hand side of the window) and Sir Arthur Renwick (on the right-hand side of the window).
Coats of arms and crests on the inner east wall:
top centre, the coat of arms of NSW, with the arms of Sir Joseph Hector Carruthers on its left and the crest of Judge Alfred Backhouse on the right.
underneath, the arms of Sir Henry Normand MacLaurin on the viewer's left of the door and those of William Lygon, Earl Beauchamp (pictured below) on the right.
Coats of arms on the east (Quadrangle-facing) face of the Western Tower:
on the left hand side, an element of the arms of Edward Hamilton.
on the right hand side, the arms of Sir Charles McDonald (specially designed and granted on 20 April 1967, as he did not have a coat of arms) (pictured below).
Coat of arms on the west face of the Western Tower:
the University's coat of arms (pictured below).
Coats of arms on the west-facing wall:
the University's coat of arms on the wall outside what was the Vice-Chancellor's office from 1924 to the 1990s.
the Prince of Wales' feathers (pictured below).
Inside the former Vice-Chancellor's office
Coats of arms over the fireplace in the former Vice-Chancellor's office:
College arms of St Paul's, St Andrews, Women's, the University of Sydney (pictured below), St John's, Wesley and Sancta Sophia.
Coats of arms facing Science Road:
the arms of Oxford, the University of Sydney and Cambridge (pictured below).
Coats of arms on the War Memorial Arch:
the arms of the University of Sydney on the west-facing side (pictured below).
the arms of the University of Sydney under the rising sun on the east-facing side.