The Mace

Salford City Council has three maces, inherited in 1974 from the former Salford Borough Council, the Borough of Eccles, and the Borough of Swinton and Pendlebury.

In days gone by the mace was a weapon of war, without doubt the most primitive of all weapons produced by man. The ceremonial mace of today is but a highly ornamental descendant of the prehistoric club. Possibly the first representation of a mace as a war weapon is shown in the Bayeux Tapestry which dates from the second half of the 11th century.

As peoples became more civilised, the ceremonial use of the mace gradually predominated over its military use. Thus the original base of the mace, honoured by its adornment of the Royal Arms surrounded by a coronet, came to be regarded as the more important end. Consequently the reversal of the mace occurred and it was then carried with the crested end uppermost.

The whole weapon swelled to proportions too large to be wielded to strike, and so by the end of the Tudor dynasty the ceremonial mace was fully fledged.

Viewing the maces

The three Salford maces can be viewed by special arrangement. Please email Michelle Lindsay or telephone 0161 793 3030 for more details.

Order of precedence

On all appropriate occasions, the mace immediately precedes the Ceremonial Mayor. Therefore its appearance indicates that the Ceremonial Mayor is present in his official capacity. When the Ceremonial Mayor is seated the mace rests horizontally before them, usually with the crown to their right hand.

Civic history

Rate this page