Detail of the 1661 Mace

The Berkeley Maces

The Museum is pleased to be able to display two ceremonial maces from Berkeley. They have been generously loaned to the Museum by Berkeley Town Council so that they can be seen and enjoyed by Stroud District residents and visitors to the area.

The smaller of the two maces dates from the 1500s and is thought to have been presented to the Borough of Berkeley by Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn when they visited Berkeley Castle on their Summer Progress in August 1535. This mace has the Royal Standard depicted on its top end.

The larger mace (pictured) was made for the town by George, Baron de Berkeley, in 1661. It was made to celebrate the restoration of the Monarchy and the Crowning of Charles II following England's Civil War.  This mace has a number of designs on it including a rose for England, a thistle for Scotland and a harp for Ireland.

The two maces went missing for a period of time following the dissolution of the Borough of Berkeley in 1883. In the 1970s local government reorganisation reinstated a mayor in Berkeley and the maces were rediscovered stored in the cellar of the castle. The maces were placed in storage by Berkeley Town Council until 2018 when they were loaned to the Museum in order to make them accessible to a wider audience.

Did you know?

Ceremonial maces such as these are used to show the authority of the bearer - whether they are the Queen, a mayor or a chancellor. Although maces are only used ceremonially today, they are derived from the mediaeval weapon of the same name.


The maces are owned by Berkeley Town Council


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