Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Rebus Definition

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



English Heritage

English Heritage membership

English Heritage membership

Free entry to English Heritage properties throughout England, plus discounted admission to Historic Scotand and Cadw properties in Scotland and Wales.

Membership details

About English Heritage


HISTORY CORNER
Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image



This battle outside York saw the triumph of Harold Hardrada of Norway over Edwin and Morcar, Earls of Mercia and Northumbria respectively



18 July, 1290

Edict of Expulsion

Edward I expels Jews from England, an edict that was not repealed until 1656

This monarch was known for his ruddy complexion



Passionate about British Heritage!