The rose is well-known for its use as a symbol, especially the red rose which is
associated with romance. This stems from its earlier status as a symbol of Venus,
the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The red rose has been used as a symbol by
Christians for centuries, representing either the blood shed by Jesus or else representing
his mother Mary. It is commonly seen in East Anglian churches.
The Tudor Rose is depicted on the village sign at Westhorpe in Suffolk because Mary
Tudor, King Henry VII’s daughter, lived at Westhorpe Hall.
Right: Red roses alternating with white lilies as a repeat pattern on a stained glass
window at Roydon Church in Norfolk.
The red rose has also stood for the royal house of Lancaster. The rival house of
York had a white rose. When, in 1485, Henry Tudor married Elizabeth of York, the
two houses of Lancaster and York were joined together, and consequently a new, combined,
symbol was created consisting of a rose with red outer petals and white inner petals.
Rose emblem on a listed house at Woolpit in Suffolk.
Yellow roses depicted on an iron gate in Bungay, Suffolk.