Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture

Rebus

A rebus is a visual pun, a pictogram, or play on words, usually in the form of a painting or carving  that illustrates a family name. Rebuses are often found on medieval tombs where they depict in a visual manner the family name of the deceased. They are also often found as decorative elements (such as a roof boss) remembering an important church patron. Rebus principles are frequently used in heraldry, where the pictogram practise is called canting. A commonly used symbol in rebuses was a barrel, which in the medieval period was known as a tun. Thus a barrel symbol could be used to represent the last part of a name like Bolton (Bolt + tun).

Related: Boss  

Attraction search
in



National Trust

National Trust membership

National Trust membership

Free entry to National Trust properties throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, plus discounted admission to National Trust for Scotand properties.

Membership details

About the National Trust


HISTORY CORNER
Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image



This Protestant martyr was burned at the stake at Smithfield in 1546



19 February, 1858

Conspiracy to Murder bill rejected by Commons

The bill proposed anti-terrorist measures, specifically making it a crime in Britain to plot a foreign murder. The failure of the bill caused Lord Palmerston to resign as PM

This queen's reign saw the union of England and Scotland in 1707



Passionate about British Heritage!