The Dering roll

The following press release has been made by the UK Museums, Libraries
and Archives Council;

Riding to rescue vital record of English medieval knights
Wednesday 20 February 2008

The export of a 13th Century roll of arms, crucial to the study of
medieval English knighthood, has been put on hold.

Culture Minister, Margaret Hodge, has placed a temporary export bar on
the Dering Roll, a decorated manuscript roll of arms on vellum. This
will provide a last chance to raise the money to keep the roll in the
United Kingdom.

The Minister's ruling follows a recommendation by the Reviewing
Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural
Interest, administered by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.
The Committee recommended that the export decision be deferred on the
grounds that the roll is of outstanding significance for the study of
early English heraldry and is so closely connected with our history
and national life that its departure would be a misfortune. The
Committee awarded a starred rating to the roll meaning that every
possible effort should be made to raise enough money to keep it in the

The Dering Roll was produced in England in the last quarter of the
13th century. It is eight and a half feet long and contains the coats
of arms of approximately one-quarter of the English baronage of the
reign of King Edward I. As the earliest surviving English roll of arms
it is a key document of medieval English knighthood. As a statement of
the knights who owed feudal service to the constable of Dover Castle,
it carries outstanding local as well as national significance.

Lord Inglewood, Chairman of the Reviewing Committee said: "This is an
extraordinarily iconic object being the oldest complete English roll
of arms in the history of English Heraldry."

The decision on the export licence application for the Dering Roll
will be deferred for a period ending on 19 April 2008 inclusive. This
period may be extended until 19 July 2008 inclusive if a serious
intention to raise funds with a view to making an offer to purchase
the Dering Roll at the recommended price of £192,500 excluding VAT is

Anyone interested in making an offer to purchase the Dering Roll
should contact the owner's agent through:

The Secretary
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of
Cultural Interest
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council,
Victoria House,
Southampton Row
London WC1B 4EA


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