Magnificent setting for shield hanging at Lancaster Castle

Monday, June 1, 2015

The annual High Sheriff of Lancashire's Shield Hanging Ceremony takes place on Friday 5 June 2015.

Lancaster Castle's gothic Shire Hall will be the setting for one of Lancashire's most prestigious ceremonial events.

This colourful spectacle, complete with a fanfare of trumpets and a stunning array of costumes, dates back several hundred years.

The ceremony involves the High Sheriff of Lancashire, Amanda Parker, hanging her shield in the Shire Hall - alongside more than 650 other shields dating back to Richard the Lionheart.

Also in attendance will be the Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth KCVO, accompanied by Lady Shuttleworth; The Constable of the Castle, Mrs Pamela Barker DL; the Vice Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster, The Hon Mr Justice Norris; The Honorary Recorders of both Preston and Lancaster; the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, Timothy Duke; the Under Sheriff of the County Palatine of Lancaster, David Cam DL; the Mayor of Lancaster, Councillor Jon Barry; and the Chairman of Lancashire County Council, County Councillor Margaret Brindle.

Before the ceremony, there will be a service in the magnificent Priory Church. Those attending the hanging of the shield then make their way to the Castle's Shire Hall, where the Under Sheriff reads the High Sheriff's Patent.

The High Sheriff then presents her shield to the Constable of the Castle and seeks his permission to hang it in the Shire Hall with those of her distinguished predecessors.

The Shire Hall houses a splendid array of over 650 shields, bearing the coat of arms of 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.

Each High Sheriff’s shield has an individual Coat of Arms portraying significant characteristics of their professions and interests.


Note to editors:

Photographers, television crews and journalists are cordially invited to record this historic ceremony where the traditional colourful processions to and from the Priory Church are of spectacular visual interest.

Programme for the day:

10.40am - All those attending the church service take their places in the Priory.
10.58am - Photograph opportunity: The High Sheriff and Judges’ Procession enters the Priory to a trumpet fanfare.
11am - Church Service
12 noon - Photograph Opportunity: The Ecclesiastical and Judges’ Processions move from the Priory to Lancaster Castle. Congregation leaves the Priory and those attending the Shield Hanging Ceremony make their way to the Shire Hall.
12.15pm (Approx) - Introductory talk by Mr Eric Wilkinson JP from a former member of the Castle staff.
12.20pm - Photograph opportunity - trumpeters
The Under Sheriff, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, accompanied by the High Sheriff’s Chaplain and High Sheriff enter the Shire Hall after which the ceremony takes place.
12.25pm - Photograph Opportunity - trumpeters
Procession leaves the Shire Hall.
12.35pm - Guests leave the Shire Hall and proceed to the Town Hall.
12.45pm - Reception at the Town Hall, followed by lunch.


The Office of the High Sheriff is the oldest secular dignitary under the Crown and its origins date back to the middle of the 10th Century.

The functions of the High Sheriff at one time included those exercised by the Police Force, Local Government, the Court Administrator’s Office and the Lieutenancy.

Today, the office is purely ceremonial, with the responsibility for executing High Court Writs having passed to High Court Enforcement Officers under the Courts Act 2003 and his/her main duty is to protect and assist in upholding the dignity and wellbeing of Her Majesty's Judges.

It is an appointment made by Her Majesty The Queen in her right as Duke of Lancaster.

The persons for appointment are recommended by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who annually, at a personal audience, places the Lites before The Queen. The Lites is an engrossed parchment offering the names of the nine selected persons, three for each of the Counties in the Duchy area, for Her Majesty's approval.

Share this: