Dotted around University of Manchester’s Oxford Road and Sackville Street areas, you’ll see the university’s coat of arms decorating buildings both inside and out. It’s actually of recent origin, dating from 2004, when the Victoria University of Manchester merged with UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology) to form a combined entity.

The coat of arms inside the entrance to the Sackville Street Building.

The coat of arms on a facade surrounding building work on Oxford Road.

Arms: Per fess nebuly enhanced Bleu-celeste and Purpure issuant in chief a Sun in Splendour Or in base three Bees volant proper.
Crest: Upon a Helm Within a Coronet composed of four Roses Purpure barbed Argent seeded and set upon a Circlet Or a demi Lion guardant Or murally crowned Argent holding in the paws a Torch erect Sable enflamed Or.
Motto: “Knowledge, Wisdom, Humanity” Cognitio, sapientia, humanitas

The new arms includes legacy elements from both prior institutions. The lion wearing a crown appeared on the UMIST coat of arms, while the sun against a blue background belonged to the Victoria shield, symbolising growing enlightenment. The bees symbolise the University’s connection with the city of Manchester and also appear on the UMIST shield.

UMIST

Victoria University of Manchester

The Victoria University of Manchester was founded in 1851 as Owens College. In 1880 the college joined the federal Victoria University, before the separating in 1904 after the collapse of the federal university. The short-lived Victoria University was eventually comprised of Owens, University College Liverpool and Yorkshire College, Leeds with its coat of arms reflecting this combination:

Per pale argent and gules, a rose counterchanged, in dexter chief a terrestrial globe semée of bees Or, in sinister chief a fleece Or, in point a liverbird rising argent, beaked and membered gules holding in the beak a fish argent. The motto is Olim armis nunc studiis (“Formerly by weapons, now by studies”).

The rose is a conjoining of Lancaster’s and York’s, the liver bird for Liverpool and the globe and bees, of course, for Manchester. Interestingly, you can still find the coat of arms by the Whitworth Building entranceway along Oxford Road.

The coat of arms is available to buy on a variety of items, from signet rings, pin badges, scarfs and even Glass Tankards.

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