History in the making at Lancaster Castle

High Sheriff shield hanging at Lancaster Castle's Shire Hall. Picture by Peter Defty.
High Sheriff shield hanging at Lancaster Castle's Shire Hall. Picture by Peter Defty.

Lancashire’s new High Sheriff Anthony Attard OBE DL added to centuries of tradition by hanging his family shield at Lancaster Castle’s Shire Hall.

His coat of arms now hangs alongside more than 650 shields, including every English monarch since King Richard the Lionheart (1157-1199), as well as all the Constables of Lancaster Castle and former High Sheriffs of Lancashire.

This ancient shield-hanging ceremony is a colourful and historic spectacle, featuring a fanfare of trumpets and a stunning array of costumes.

The office of High Sheriff is held on a voluntary basis for a year. Tony Attard said: “It’s a wonderful honour and privilege to be able to place my own family crest alongside those of the other High Sheriffs dating back many centuries.

“This historical privilege is a great and ancient tradition, that to follow in the footsteps of so many great Lancastrians is quite a daunting prospect.”

Each Lord Lieutenant recommends a name to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and The Queen ‘pricks’ the names of the three High Sheriffs on the Lites - the parchment list of names - with a bodkin, a practice dating back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I.