On show for the first time is a rare coat of arms carried at the Lord Protector's funeral in 1658.

It is painted onto silk and formed part of the very elaborate displays of heraldry at Westminster Abbey. One half shows Cromwell's own coat of arms on black silk, the other side on white silk depicts his widow Elizabeth's coat of arms.

Cambridgeshire County Council's Cromwell Museum Curator, John Goldsmith said "Heraldry was of real significance in the seventeenth century. To have a coat of arms, and to be able to show that you came from an ancient family was a real mark of social status."

Oliver Cromwell was very aware of the importance of the symbolism of heraldry. As Lord Protector he had his own family crest drawn onto the centre of the equivalent of the Royal coat of arms.

The exhibition will run until the end of the year "“ admission to the exhibition and museum is free.

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