Miss Fewkes Address

Miss Fewkes' little history lesson

Prior to the unveiling Miss Ann Fewkes (former EGS history teacher) spoke on the subject of the school coat of arms shown on the commemorative plaque. The content of her talk was recorded by Joy Matthews (Randall)

EYE was a Royal Borough and was granted a coat of arms. Many years later, the school was given permission to use part of this as their badge

EYE as a place name means 'an island in the fens', or a piece of rising ground in the middle of a marsh, e.g. Castle Hill, but the EYE used in the motto for the Grammar School refers to the human eye. 'OCULUS IN COELUM' - (looking towards heaven, or an eye in the sky) literally, is a rebus (a good example is the BABINGTON family who had babies and barrels (tons) in their heraldry.

A town would hope for church and royal patronage, so the coat of arms is full of such references :The Shield portrays the 4 MARTLETS (in heraldry, heavenly birds who have no feet) and the flowery cross of King Edward the Confessor, surmounted by the eagle and the helmet (strength) with its royal crown

Above the crown is the Eye for the name of the town, set in the middle of the sun.

The mantle is a reminder of the Crusades. It was so hot in the Middle East that the crusaders needed a cloak over their armour to protect them from the sun

The engravers have put the whole coat of arms inside an enormous biological EYE and inscribed this was the site of Eye Grammar School from 1471 –1965 at the top, and then underneath was engraved. 'A place of learning that continues to be of benefit to so many'.

There are still two 'a's in Parliament but only one 'Eye in the sky'