The heraldic Sackville leopards

Knole, Kent

W 13" × H 31" × D 14"

Stock # Marh151


More information

The heraldic Sackville leopards. Possibly from Knole house, Sevenoaks, Kent. This pair of stone leopards would have been displayed upon the tops of the gables of one of Thomas Sackvilles houses.The leopard supports his coat of arms, and it is a symbol of a brave and hardy warrior. Thomas Sackville was a wealthy lawyer and businessman who came from an important family with royal connections. He first bought a lease on knole in 1570 but did not live there until 1604, when he extended the house on both sides of the gatehouse and added gables to make the house look more impressive and symmetrical. This is when the Leopards would have been added. Knole House has undergone a couple of extensive renovations including replacement of stonework since the end of the 19th century. In heraldic terms, the leopard is almost as important as the lions supporting the royal coats of arms. The use of leopards as the Sackville symbol indicates the high status of the Sackville family.