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Arms and Mottos


Durham University logo
The coat of arms of the University is described thus:

Argent, a Cross patee quadrate Gules; a Canton Azure, charged with a Chevron Or between three Lions rampant of the first.


The motto of the University:


Motto: "Fundamenta eius super montibus sanctis" - taken from Psalm 86 in the Latin Psalter. In the New English Bible the line comes in Psalm 87 and is translated from the original as "her foundations are set upon the holy hills" ("her" refers to Zion).



Arms Mottos

Collingwood College

Opened 1972.

Motto: "Aime le meilleur" - love the best.

Argent a Chevron between three Stags' Heads erased Sable a Bordure Gules charged with eight Crosses of St Cuthbert of the field And for the Crest On a Wreath Argent Gules and Sable issuant from the top of a Tower triple towered Or a Holly Tree fructed proper Mantled Sable doubled Argent.

George Stephenson College

Founded in 2001.

Motto: "Me quondam mirabitur orbis" - one day I shall astonish the world.

Argent a chevron between two fleurs-de-lis in chief and a cross fleurettée in gules a chief gules theoreon three lions rampant argent.

Grey College

Opened 1959.

Motto: “ Gradibus ascendimus” – we ascend by degrees.

Gules a Scaling Ladder in bend Argent between two St Cuthbert's Crosses proper. Upon a Helm with a Wreath Argent and Gules A Phoenix Or enflamed proper charged on each wing with a Cross Formy quadrate Gules.

Hatfield College

Founded 1846.

Motto: "Vel primus vel cum primis" - either first or among the first.

Azure a Chevron Or between three Lions rampant Argent a Bordure Ermine.

John Snow College

Founded in 2001.

Motto: "per scientiam et prudentiam quaere summam" – to seek the highest through knowledge and wisdom.

Argent a Cross formy quadrate azure, a chief azure thereon a Yorkshire rose argent between two lions rampant Or.

Josephine Butler College

Opened 2006.

Motto: Comme je trouve” – as I find.

Gules on a chevron Or charged with a Cross formy, with cotises invected, between in chief two lions Argent and in base an open book charged with two covered cups.

South College

Opened: 2020.

Motto: “Libertas, aequalitas, civitas totius mundi” - freedom, equality and global citizenship.

St Aidan's College

Formed in 1947 from the body of Home Students who were first admitted to the University in 1895.

Motto: "Super fundamentis certis" - upon sure foundations.

Per chevron Argent and Sable in chief two ancient Northumbrian Crosses Gules in base two Keys in saltire wards upwards of the first.

St Chad's College

Formed in 1904.

Motto: "Non vestra sed vos" - not yours but you.

Vert a Cross potent quadrate Or in chief a Durham Mitre of the last between two Lions rampant Argent.

St Cuthbert's Society

Formed in 1904.

Motto: "Gratia gratiam parit" – loosely translated as friendship begets friendship.

Vert a representation of St Cuthbert's Cross proper a Bordure Argent.

The College of St Hild and St Bede

The College of the Venerable Bede (for men) was founded in 1839 and St Hild's College (for women) in 1858. The two were amalgamated in 1975 and four years later they were merged with the University in accordance with the Secretary of State's plans for the re-organisation of teacher-training.

Motto: "Eadem mutata resurgo" - I rise again changed but the same.

Argent on a Chevron Purpure three Ammonites of the first in base a Cross paty quadrate Gules a Chief Azure thereon between two Lions rampant Or a pale of the last charged with a Cross patonce also Azure.

St John's College

Founded in 1909, originally to provide a University education and training for ordinands in the Church of England, St John's became a constituent College of the University in 1919, maintained and administered by its own College Council.

Motto: "Fides nostra victoria" - our faith is our victory.

Quarterly Argent and Azure in the first and fourth a Cross Formy Quadrate Gules in the second an Eagle wings elevated and inverted Or in the third a Lion rampant Crowned with an Ancient Crown of the last all within a Bordure quarterly of the second and Gold.

St Mary's College

St Mary's College opened in 1899 as a Hostel for Women Students and was constituted a College in 1920. St Mary’s was an all women’s college for 106 years before going mixed in October 2005.

Motto: "Ancilla Domini" - the handmaid of the Lord.

Argent a Cross Formy Quadrate Gules a Chief Azure thereon a Durham Mitre Or between two Lilies proper.

Trevelyan College

Founded in 1966, and has been a mixed college since 1990.

Motto: "Vera fictis libentius" - truth more readily than falsehood.

Gules issuant from Water in base barry wavy of four Argent and Azure a Demi-Horse forcene Or in chief three Saint Cuthbert's crosses Argent.

University College

Founded in 1832.

Motto: "Non nobis solum " - not for ourselves alone.

Azure a Cross patonce Or between four Lions rampant Argent on a Chief of the last a Cross of St Cuthbert Sable between two Durham Mitres Gules.

Ustinov College

The Graduate Society was founded in 1965 and changed its name to Ustinov College in 2003.

Ermine a Cross formy quadrate Gules on a Chief indented Sable between three Lions rampant Argent two Lozenges Or.

Van Mildert College

Founded in 1965.

Motto: "Sic vos non vobis" - not for yourselves.

Gules two Scythe blades in saltire in chief the Cross of St Cuthbert Argent And for the Crest On a Wreath of the Colours in front of a Castle of three Towers Sable a Silver Penannular Brooch proper the ends charged with Gilded Crosses of St Cuthbert.