CRANWORTH church has a great deal of heraldry, mostly of the Gurdon family who lived at Letton Hall.

A tablet in the north aisle with eight coloured shields, for Brampton Gurdon of Letton, died 3 November 1769, aged 62  The inscription is confusing, but the descent is:
John Gurdon of Assington, Suffolk (whose mother was presumably a Sexton), married Amy the daughter and heir of William Brampton of Letton. Their only son was Brampton Gurdon of Assington, who married twice, first not mentioned, secondly Muriel Sedley, daughter of Martin Sedley of Morley. Their third surviving son  was Brampton Gurdon of Letton, who married Mary, 2nd daughter of Henry Polsted of London; died 12 August 1679, aged 71.

Their eldest son, this Brampton, (died at Letton 3 November 1669, aged 62 and is buried at Southburgh in the chancel, q.v.)  married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Francis Thornhagh, who was son and heir of Sir Francis Thornhagh of Fenton, Nottinghamshire, Kt.

Thomas, the second son, was a London merchant, who died unmarried 3 May 1680.
Brampton and Elizabeth’s issue were Thornhagh John, Brampton, and another Brampton who like his sister Elizabeth died in infancy.

Quarterly of nine: 1 and 9, GURDON; 2, SEXTON; 3, BRAMPTON; 4, Chequy Or and Gules a Bend Ermine – CLIFTON; 5, Argent on a Fess Gules three Annulets Or – BARTON 1; 6, Paly of six Argent and Azure over all a Fess Gules  – BURGATE; 7, Argent issuing from the chief three Piles wavy Gules over all a Fess Azure –*BARTON 2 3; 8, Azure a Chevron between three Escallops Or – *BROWN 4.     Crest: A Goat climbing a Rock, issuing from the top a sprig of Laurel all proper – Gurdon.

The shields surrounding the main arms are each suspended by a strap;  below:
Sable three Leopards’ faces jessant-de-lys Or a mullet Argent  for difference – GURDON, impaling Argent fretty Sable – POLSTED (POLSTROD)5. For Brampton Gurdon’s marriage to Mary Polsted.

On the left: GURDON, without the difference, impaling a blank shield; presumably for Thomas the brother who died unmarried.

Quarterly: 1 and 4, GURDON, 2 SEXTON, 3,  BRAMPTON,  impaling Chequy Argent and Gules – *VAUX 6. ?For a child of Brampton and Muriel Sedley.


On the right:
GURDON quartering SEXTON impaling BRAMPTON. For the marriage of John Gurdon to Amy Brampton.

GURDON quartering SEXTON and BRAMPTON, impaling Azure a Fess wavy between three Goats’ heads erased Argent – SEDLEY7. For Brampton Gurdon’s marriage to Muriel Sedley.

Below, to the left:
GURDON a mullet Argent  for difference  impaling Argent two Annulets linked together Gules  between  three Crosses patty Sable – THORNHAGH. For the fourth son Brampton Gurdon’s marriage to Elizabeth Thornhagh.

On the right:
Sable three Leopards’ faces jessant-de-lys Or a Mullet charged with a Crescent in chief for difference – GURDON,  impaling  a blank shield. Presumably for a Gurdon who died in infancy.

To the right of the east window of the north aisle, eight shields:

For Sir William Cooke of Broom Hall, Bart, MP,  died 1708 aged 78. His wife Jane (Stewart) died 1698 aged 63. At the top: Or a Chevron engrailed Gules between three Cinquefoils Azure on a chief Gules a Lion passant guardant Argent with the baronet’s badge – COOKE; impaling Or a Fess chequy Argent and Azure – STEWART-2. Crest: Gurdon.
On the left:

Cranworth021B  Or three Bars gemel Gules on a Canton Argent( five Lozenges Gules in saltire) – HIRME 8, impaling COOKE, without the baronet’s badge.

GURDON impaling COOKE.


On the right:
STEWART-2 impaling COOKE.Cranworth022

Above: Sable three Lozenges Or – ALLEN? Below:  Chequy Or and Gules a Bordure Ermine – WARREN? impaling COOKE.

GURDON impaling COOKE.

And in the centre below, a shield quarterly of twelve impaling one quarterly of twenty-four:


Quarterly of twelve: 1 and 12, Or a Chevron engrailed Gules between three Cinquefoils Azure on a chief Gules a Lion passant guardant Argent with the Baronet’s badge – COOKE; 2, Or a  Cross Gules –*COCKERELL9; 3, Gules eight Martlets Or 3-2-3 a crescent for difference – BOHUN; 4, Vert nine Fleur-de-lys Argent – DALLINGHOWE; 5, Argent  a Fess Vert between three Crescents Sable – UNIDENTIFIED 01; 6, Argent on a Fess Azure between three Unicorns’ heads couped Sable  as many Fleur-de-lys Or – *LEE 1 10; 7, Argent a Fess between three Leopards’ heads Sable – *LEE 2 11; 8, *CAWSSE – *Sable  a Chevron Or between  three Fleur-de-lys Argent.12; 9, Azure  a Cross Or – SHELTON; 10, Argent  a Chief indented Gules – BROME; 11, Or a Fess chequy Argent  and Azure – STEWART-2, impaling
Quarterly of twenty-four: 1 and 24, Or a Fess chequy Argent  and Azure – STEWART-2; 2, Or a Fess chequy Argent  and Azure on an escutcheon of the second a Lion rampant Gules  debruised with a Bend raguly Or – STUART-3 13; 3, Argent a Lion rampant Gules  debruised with a Bend raguly Or – STEWARD; 4, Vert  three Boars’ heads couped Argent – BURLEY; 5, Argent  a Lion rampant Sable – WALKFARE; 6, Argent  a Chevron Gules between three Hurts Azure – BASKERVILLE; 7, Gules a Fess Ermine  with  in chief a label of five – WALLIS OR WALES; 8, Gules  a Fess chequy Argent  and Sable  between six Crosses fitchy14 molines Or – BUTLER; 9, Quarterly Argent  and Azure  on a Bend Sable  three Martlets of the first 15 – LE GROS; 10, Argent  on a Cross  Sable  a Leopards’ head Or – BRIDGES 16; 11, Gules  a Fess  between  three Escallops Argent – PITCHARD; 12, Azure  a Fess between  three Chessrooks Or – BODENHAM; 13, Or a Chevron  Sable – WIMONDSELL; 14, Argent a Griffin segreant Sable – *MORGAN 17; 15, Per pale Sable  and Gules a Lion rampant guardant Argent crowned Or – BESNEY? 16, Or a triple-towered Castle Sable – UNIDENTIFIED 02 18; 17, Gules  a double-headed Eagle Argent crowned and armed Or – UNIDENTIFIED 03; 18, Argent  a Cross flory Sable  between  four Cornish Choughs proper – SPENDELOW; 19, Argent nine Fleurs-de-lys Sable – UNIDENTIFIED 04; 20, Azure three Lions passant guardant in pale Or – UNIDENTIFIED 05 19; 21, Argent  a Lion rampant within a Bordure engrailed Sable – *HARPER 20; 22, Azure  a Chevron between three Leopards’ faces Or – FROYK; 23, Argent  a Griffin segreant Sable –  *MORGAN.

Another coat of arms on the west wall is for Robert Thornhagh Gurdon, eldest son of Brampton and Henrietta Gillingham; born 18 June 1829, married first 4 September 1863 to Harriott Ellin, 6th daughter of Sir William Miles, Bart., she died 9 April 1864, leaving one daughter Amy Harriott, who married first Lionel Clark Drummond, who died 5 March 1891, and secondly, Alfred Bayley Ridley, who died 26 March 1898.

Robert married secondly 27 July 1874 Emily Frances, third  daughter of Rev. Robert Boothby Heathcote; their children were:
1.    Bertram Robert, born 20 May 1875, died 27 June 1875;
2.    Muriel Charlotte, born 17 April 1876;
3.     Bertram Francis, born 13 June 1877, who succeeded to the family estates.

Robert Thornagh Gurdon of Letton and Grundisburgh  represented South and Mid Norfolk as an MP, and was created baron Cranworth in 1899; he was Chairman of the Norfolk Quarter Sessions 1868-1901, the first Chairman of Norfolk County Council 1889-1902.  He died 13 October 1902 at Letton Hall.


As a peer, Baron Cranworth had supporters to his arms, and he chose the Goat from the crest, each with double golden collars.

Quarterly 1 & 4, GURDON, 2 & 3, BRAMPTON, impaling  Azre a Chevron Ermine between three Lozenges Argent each bearing a Fleur-de-lys Sable – *MILES, impaling Ermine three Pomeis bearing a Cross Or – HEATHCOTE.  Supporters: Goats.  doubly wreathed on either side.     Crest and Motto: Gurdon.

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