College of Arms
College of Arms
3.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: City of London
From its ancient past as a Roman trading outpost to its 21st century status as the wealthiest square mile in the world, the financial district known simply as “The City” is one of London's most historic and fascinating neighbourhoods. Here high rise office towers such as Norman Foster’s Gherkin mingle with Roman ruins and architectural marvels from virtually every era in between, including Christopher Wren's glorious St.Paul's Cathedral, and John Soane's dauntingly classicist Bank of England. This neighbourhood is also home to some of the finest restaurants and plushest hotels in Europe, in addition to an assortment of of watering holes, upscale shops, and Tube stations. During the week, the City is abuzz with white collar workers going about their business; the weekend sees this area turn into a quiet haven for sightseers.
How to get there
  • Mansion House • 4 min walk
  • St. Paul's • 5 min walk
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles17 reviews
Excellent
5
Very good
7
Average
1
Poor
2
Terrible
2

aferry
New Orleans, LA235 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
The College of Arms has a one-room exhibit. Of course, there are, no doubt, many other rooms where heralds are diligently reviewing coats of arms.
The receptionist was very gracious and urged me to walk the room, enjoying the portraits and the arms. It was a fun five minutes and worth a visit to this institution animated by Richard III. Hark !!!
Written 23 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jack R
Exeter, UK544 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We found this place completely by accident, right next to St Paul's Cathedral. there is only one room to look at really, but lots of interesting information about heraldry and the history of the College of Arms. The lady was really nice and helpful too.
Written 4 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

StephenCross
Dublin, Ireland30,084 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Solo
Not much to see here but an I press I’ve set of gates. It’s worth a quick look but I would not go out of my way to visit.
Written 21 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

futtock21
London, UK16,477 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Solo
The College of Arms is a royal corporation delegated to act on behalf of the Crown both in this country and some Commonwealth countries in matters of heraldry, the granting of new coats of arms, genealogical research and the recording of pedigrees. Strange then that such colourful activity takes place within a building with a rather uninspiring exterior with the possible exception of the gates removed from Goodrich Court in Hertfordshire. Inside the entrance hall has featured in James Bond films.
Written 20 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alanedge
Cheltenham, UK17 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019
Over the last 5 years or so I have been trying to get somebody at the College of Arms to respond to a request about making sure I am able to use a particular Coat of Arms. I have sent e-mails to virtually everyone that would accept an e-mail and to date I HAVE RECEIVED NO RESPONSE. In my days, when somebody contacted you to enquire about an item or service it was customary to acknowledge that request with some information about length of time to complete or to ask for further information to complete that request.
The College of Arms personnel obviously see themselves as not having to obey proper etiquette rules and deem themselves to be above the rest of us.
I am appalled at the lack of concern to those who are requesting information and they may as well take down the website as it is proving to be a hassle for them.
Maybe they have someone reading these reviews and I may get a response, but to be honest, based on past experiences, I doubt it. Terrible service!
Written 2 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

on_the_go_98765
Tucson20,598 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
Well maybe that is not in the upper 600 needs or wants on my priority list but I speak for myself only. Different strokes for different folks, and all that. However, if one is in the market for the artwork, calligraphy, and costs to keep the college up and running, then don't let me get in the way.

This historic body has been at it since the 1400's and they are the body to consult on all matters regarding lineage. They maintain the registers of the coat of arms and they are the body to grant a new coat of arms.

And this is when my American-side is having trouble relating to the crowd across the pond. I suppose I imagine there are more important things in the world than getting a coat of arms to hang over the fireplace.
Written 24 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nomadman411978
London, UK3,144 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Solo
College of Arms is a fine 17th century building next to the Faraday Building and is connected with all things heraldic, coats of arms and such. At the entrance is a great example of the royal coat of arms.
Written 3 November 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Margaret Mary O
London, UK96 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Friends
Located on Queen Victoria Street below st. Paul's Cathedral. To access this very interesting attraction, it's best to travel by bus in either direction & get off at St. Paul's, naturally. Turn down at the side of the Nat. Firefighters' Memorial until you reach Qn Vic. Street.
It was built in the 1670's to house the English Heralds & the official records of coats-of-arms and pedigrees so, if you are doing genealogical research & you think yr. family have - or had - a coat-of-arms, then here would be an excellent place to make a start.
Currently open Mons - Fri's 10.00 - 16.00 except Public Hols & State and Special Occasions. The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge are the latest members of the Royal Family to be granted their own coat-of-arms.
Written 9 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

barklyeast
Bengaluru, India366 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017 • Couples
The College of Arms was founded in 1484. It has nothing to do with weapons. It is the official body that regulates the use of coats of arms and other heraldic emblems.

The College is housed in a building that replaced its earlier home that was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. The present building was built only a few years after the Fire. Originally, it was a four sided building enclosing a courtyard, but in later years the front part of it was demolished in order that Victoria Street could be made.

Only the entrance hall, which used to be a court-room for cases relating to coats of arms, may be visited. We were welcomed by a friendly lady who explained many things to us.

The entrance hall has the original judge's 'throne' as well as some portraits of previous Heads of the College including Sir John Vanbrugh and Queen Elzabeth the First's courtier, Sir Robert Dudley.

Of particular interest are three heraldic models, which used to be on display in St George's Chapel in Windsor. They relate to former, now deceased, Knights of the Garter. While the Knights are alive, their heraldic emblems are on display in the Chapel at Windsor. When they die, their emblems are removed from Windsor, and replaced with those of living Knights of the Garter. One of the emblems we saw at the College is an elephant. This was the emblem of Lord Kitchener (1850-1916).

Although visitors, arriving without a prior appointment, get to see one room only, it is well worth visiting.
Written 14 February 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GeorginaS152
Windsor, UK668 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Business
What a stunning evening tour of a venerable and romantic institution, enjoyed by a group with a strong interest in heraldry and the Order of the Garter. We arrived promptly at 6.30 for our two-hour tour led by the wise and wizardly Windsor Herald of Arms, William Hunt, who led us through three public rooms on the ground floor.

In the first grand reception room, William stood by a model in Herald uniform and explained the ranks and titles and organisation of the College. He described how the role of Herald began with the first Crusades in Europe. In wartime, this was to be a messenger, diplomat and military staff officer, expert at identifying the armoured mass of warriors on the battlefield, by the heraldic devices on surcoat and banner. In peacetime, the role developed and Heralds became tournament organisers; expert advisers (and devisers) of coats of arms; and also official organisers of state ceremonies and grand occasions.

In 1484, King Richard III rationalised his plethora of heralds and their documents under one roof when he granted them a charter of incorporation as the College of Arms at a house in the City of London. In 1555 there was a second charter when the College moved to its present site.

Next we went through into the second, dark-panelled room, where, cradling a glass of wine or soft drink, William traced the history of the actual building and explained the various facets of the work undertaken at the College today: family history enquiries; rights to an existing coat of arms; and applications for new ones.

These are designed and approved at the College, because every new coat of arms must be original, not a copy. It was a very clear and detailed presentation and after questions we proceeded to the awesome Record Room - no cameras, no touching of documents or sneezing/ coughing over them!

This talk was a 'tour de force' by William. He was stunning - so impish, gossipy and full of secrets! What a glorious fund of knowledge in his memory bank, which he could access at will and reveal to us!

His final bravura performance - leaping up to shelves and down to cupboards to show us fabulous registers and notebooks, intricately beautiful artwork and famous signatures - was simply beyond magical! Then, every document, when viewed, was returned to its own safe space carefully and respectfully.

We had so enjoyed every delightful and surprising aspect of our visit, but there was one more surprise - and much delight - to come! We went back to the second room to find that after we'd gone through to the Record Room, the 'house elves' had laid out a delicious buffet for us to enjoy. William then became impeccable host as he circulated and recharged glasses chatting and informing us. When it was time to go, his last advice to us was to notice the gas lamps outside - a vivid memory of a lovely evening. Thank you so much, William.

For anyone with a real interest in history and heraldry, this tour is a sheer delight. But there's a challenge involved: to reach the loo you must climb up and up again. I think I counted 70 stairs coming down, so double that = 140 in all, and no lift! But I, like many others, took that trip only once as soon as I arrived, whilst legs were fresh, and it was no problem.

The verdict was that this had been just the inspirational, academic and fun evening we wanted, delivered with wit, style and panache by the wonderful Windsor Herald. I believe he said he was retiring soon, so if this account appeals, be sure to catch him while you can!

Written 12 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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COLLEGE OF ARMS (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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