THE RURAL HISTORY CENTRE includes the Museum of English Rural Life
Museum of English Rural Life

Friendly Society Poleheads

The Museum of English Rural Life has a fantastic collection of poleheads (sometimes called staff heads) from Friendly Societies. These are metal (mainly brass) emblems that would be attached to a pole. Each Friendly Society would have an emblem of a different design, from simple shapes like diamonds, hearts and crescents, to elaborate designs of ships, horses or more symbolic designs. MERL's collection is made up of a number of acquisitions that have been donated from private collections. This includes the Sir John Jardine, the Allen, the Shickle, and the Forster collections.

Friendly Society Emblems in the Online Database

There are a small selection of Friendly Society emblems, mainly from the Jarding collection, catalogued in the Online Database. A KEYWORD search on FRIENDLY SOCIETIES will retrieve any relevant records.

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The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, UK.
Email: Telephone: 0118 378 8660