The Buckingham Tiles

The Buckingham Tiles

These tiles were on display at the Richard III Exhibition in Gloucester, and I think they are very interesting. Thornbury Castle ended up in the hands of Jasper Tudor, who died there, I think. Not certain, so don’t take that as a statement of irrefutable fact. As the castle is still there (it’s a hotel) I don’t know which part of it was pulled down/refurbished so that the tiles were utilised elsewhere. The following text was with the exhibit:-

Arms of the Duke of Buckingham, c.1511.

These floor tiles were discovered built into a farmhouse fireplace in the Forest of Dean. It is thought they came from the part of Thornbury Castle, South Gloucestershire, built by the son of the Duke of Buckingham who supported then betrayed Richard.

The swan was a heraldic device of the de Bohun family and represents the claim of the Duke of Buckingham to be the rightful heir of the powerful de Bohuns. The flaming wheel’s axle is a reminder of the Duke’s ancestor Thomas de Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester and son of Edward III. The knot is the knot of Stafford, the Duke’s own family name. The mantle, or cloak, refers to Brecon in Wales, home of the Duke.



  1. Thornbury Castle was built by the Tudor 3rd Duke, but his arms, which were placed over the entrance, have four different quarters. They include the arms of the de Bohun Earls of Hereford, those of the de Bohun Earls of Northampton, and the Stafford red chevron on a gold field. The first quarter, though, is the coat on the tiles above, the arms of England with a white border, the bearing of the 3rd Duke’s father, Henry Stafford 2nd Duke of Buckingham, which is probably why the tiles were in a Richard III display. They were originally the arms of Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, but Henry Stafford was granted the right to bear them in 1474.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: