The Brayne Crest in Littledean
The name Brain is believed to have been derived from the Danish name of Brandt, meaning fire brand or torch. As Viking invaders settled in Normandy the name altered to Brayn or Brayne.Indeed two towns still remain in Normandy which still bear this name. We know that one Brayne in particular was later to cross the English Channel and do battle alongside William at the Battle ofHastings, where King Harold was so famously killed by an arrow in the eye.
The loyalty of Brayne was rewarded with a title and family crest. This crest, having been removed from the Grange in Littledean, Gloucestershire, can now be found above the fireplace in the Littledean hotel. It clearly depicts 3 hunting horns and, what I later discovered to be a a hemp hackle, a device which was used for combing flax. Interesting fact is that the Grange was once part of Flaxley Abbey.
The Brain family have been living in the Forest of Dean from at least 1066! My own research has thus far only been able to take my family back with any degree of certainty to around1653c.