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According to the Leeds Coat of Arms section of the Leeds Owl Trail website, Sir John Savile put the European Eagle Owls into Leeds. His ancestors arrived in England from Anjou during the Norman conquest and were awarded extensive property in Yorkshire by William The Conqueror, as a thank you for service rendered at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. So why did Sir John Savile adopt owls as his heraldic device? Nobody seems to know, but he was quick to get his favourite owls onto the Boroughs coat of arms when the city was given its first charter in 1626, during the reign of King Charles I.  If you’re interested in Leeds, heraldry or owls you might want to look at the Leeds Owl Trail map, which includes the owls photographed here, outside the Civic Hall.

Leeds. Leeds.