Logo - The History Explorer Illuminated Es

The Epsom and Ewell History Explorer Website Logo

The source for the illuminated letters was a book on Celtic Ornament - Art and the Scribe by Courtney Davis. I chose this style as it is among the oldest examples of British decorated writing and therefore reaches back as far into our history as possible. I have tried to maintain the basic elements of the original illumination whilst making adaptations to represent the local area.


The Illuminated E for Epsom
The patterned sections around the edge of the E are taken from Celtic designs. In original Celtic illumination, there are representations of people in design form and therefore in my design I included the jockeys in the section at the top of the E, to represent the racing for which Epsom is most famous. Curved letters were often finished with an animal head and naturally, Epsom had to have a horse. The interwound reins reflects the frequently found Celtic motif of interwound ribbon, although this is not so intricate as much of the original work to be seen, for example, in the Book of Kells.

The cross-stroke of the E contains elements of Celtic design, whilst the open space above and below it contains a winning-post. This in turn borders a section representing a water design which alludes to Epsom's Spa-town past - a horse's head and water motif can also be found in a different form on the Borough of Epsom & Ewell's shield.

The whole design is of brighter colours than its counter-part Ewell E, representing the bustle and busy-ness of the thriving market town as against the gentle, dignified, ancient village atmosphere of Ewell.


The sections around the edge of the E mostly contain Celtic pattern, but I did not feel I could design an E for Ewell without some reference to Nonsuch Palace, one of its most famous ancient buildings although demolished in 1682. Therefore, as it would not fit well into the centre of the E, it can be seen drawn in miniature in a section on the left hand side.
The animal head at the end of the curve here is a white dog reflecting the dog on the well-known gateway into the civic building in the centre of Ewell. Tradition holds that the dog is a representation of one which saved a member of the owner's family from drowning around the end of the eighteenth century, but there is no proof of this. Now known as Bourne Hall, the present building houses the Museum, Library, Local and Family History Centre as well as function rooms.

The cross-stroke of the E contains two panels of design, with the third, centre panel containing a tiny mill in recollection of the mill which was once, but is no longer, in Ewell, near Windmill Close. The two buildings represented in the open spaces of the E show the old and new buildings which have occupied the site in the centre of the village: below is Garbrand Hall, a beautiful old Georgian house demolished by the Borough in the nineteen sixties to make way for the modern Bourne Hall whose 'flying saucer' shape - featured on Blue Peter in 2000 because of its resemblance to the Millenium Dome - is represented above.

Closeup of the  Nonsuch Palace element

The Illuminated E for Ewell
The illuminated Es logo is copyright and was designed by Gill Alford who also wrote this article, 2006