Derivation of Leicestershire and Rutland Public House Names - Animals, Agriculture and Hunting

 

Aberdale [1] -

'Aberdale' is a robust crossbreed of sheep suitable for production on poorer marginal land.

 

Antelope [1] / Antelope Inn [1] -

The sign on the 'Antelope' on Silver Street, Leicester was of the animal, which, historically, is an heraldic sign linked with the Dukes of Bedford or Gloucester, however, other signs relate to one of the numerous ships named 'HMS Antelope' throughout the history of the Royal Navy.

Apiary (1)

A place where a number of bee hives are kept.

 

Badger's Sett [1] -

'Sett' is the name given to the series of underground tunnels forming a badger's den.

Badger's Mount Hotel [1]

 

Barracuda [2] -

The barracuda is a saltwater fish of the genus 'Sphyraena', known as a voracious predator which grows to over six feet long.

 

Bear [1] / Bear Inn [1] / Bear & Swan [1] /

Bear & Ragged Staff [1] -

An heraldic sign for the Earls of Warwick, with, by legend, the 1st Earl strangling a bear and the 2nd Earl slaying a giant with a ragged staff.

White Bear [3] -

A 'White Bear' was an heraldic device used by the Earls of Kent.

 

Beaver's Lodge [1] -

A 'lodge' is the home formed by beavers with cut branches and mud providing both shelter and protection.

 

Beehive [1] -

Noted as a sign of industry, the original conical beehive was usually portrayed because of the simplicity of the image.

 

Bird in Hand [7] / Old Bird in Hand [1] -

Taken from the proverb, 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush', 'Bird in Hand' has been an inn sign since the 17th century, and was traditionally depicted by a falcon perching on the left gauntlet in falconry.

 

Blackbird [2] -

Public houses of this name are usually signed by either an image of the bird or by reference to the English nursery rhyme 'sing a song of sixpence'.

 

Brook Whipper-In Hotel [1] -

In fox hunting a 'whipper-in' is an assistant to the huntsman whose job it is to keep the pack of dogs together.

 

Bull [7] / Bull Inn [4] / Old Bull [1] / Bull's Head [43] / Bull's Head Inn [1] / Old Bull's Head [1] / Ye Olde Bull's Head [1] - -

Apart from the obvious farming connection the word 'Bull' also relates to a Papal Bull, being the leaden seal attached to the Pope's edicts.  

King Henry VIII added a bull's head to his coat of arms in 1538 after defying the Papal Bull excommunicating him.

Bull's Head & Lion [1] / Bull & Butcher [2] / Bull & Lion [1] /

Bull & Mouth [2] / Bull & Bush [1] -

Both the 'Bull & Mouth' and the 'Bull & Bush' are thought to be a corruption of 'Boulogne Bouche', referring to the mouth of Bologne Harbour where the English under King Henry VIII defeated the French in 1544.  Many inns and taverns were re-named in celevration.

Bull & Swan [1] / Bull in the Hollow [1] / Bull in the Oak [1] / Black Bull [5] / Blue Bull [1] / White Bull [1] / Pied Bull [3] / Pied Calf [1]

 

Burmese Cat [1] -

Although the pub sign of the 'Burmese Cat' in Melton Mowbray shows the head of a tiger, it is recorded that the pub was originally named in honour of the wife of the chairman of the brewery who was a breeder of Burmese cats.

Fat Cat Cafe Bar [1]

 

Cock [2] / Cock Inn [2] / Old Cock Inn [1] / Blue Cock [1] -

'Cock'  began as an inn sign in the 14th century and usually meant that cock fighting took place on the premises.  In the 17th century it also related to 'cock ale', which was ale mixed with the jelly of the minced meat of boiled cock and other ingredients.

 

Corn Exchange [1] -

An early building on this site in the Market Place, Leicester was called the 'Gainsborough', a 16th century block which included law courts, a gaol (including a dungeon) and shops.  After being damaged in 1645 during the Civil War, it was eventually replaced (in 1748) by a new building which acted as a corn exchange.  This, itself, was replaced, in 1850 by the present building.  Designed by William Flint, it was originally single storey, but an upper storey and an Italianate staircase were added six years later by F. W. Ordish.

The premises re-opened as a Weatherspoon's Lloyd's No. 1 Bar in 2000.

 

Crow's Nest [1] -

As a public house name 'Crow's Nest' has been signed as both a bird's nest and by its naval connection indicating pubs taken by retired sailors.

 

Cuckoo Inn [1] -

Folk tales alluding to the reported simplicity of country folk are widespread across Britain, and the 'Cuckoo Inn' at Wing is named after one of these.

It is said that the villagers of Wing once tried to extend Spring forever by erecting a fence around a cuckoo to stop it leaving.  It, of course, simply flew away, so leading to the villagers becoming known as the 'Wing fools'.

 

Dog & Gun [18] / Dog & Duck [1] / Dog & Pheasant [3] / Gun Dog [1] -

Obvious hunting connections.

Dog & Hedgehog [1] -

The name is said to have come from an engraving (entitled 'A rough customer') which showed a dog and hedgehog.  It was much admired by an early licensee and a new sign followed.

Black Dog [1] -

Reportably the oldest public house in Oadby, the 'Black Dog' has a skittle alley which used to double up as the local mortuary, with bodies being moved to the nearby police station on match nights.

Blue Dog [1] / Loaded Dog [1]

 

Dolphin [5] / Crown & Dolphin [1] -

Ancient myths and tales about how dolphins would steer ships in trouble to safety by entwining themselves in the anchor chain and guiding them to calmer waters, led to any sighting of a dolphin being a good omen for all sailors.  In heraldic terms, this was recognized when the dolphin was incorporated into the coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of fishmongers (first Royal Charter in 1272), and into the coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of Watermen and Lightermen (established 1555).

 

Donkey [1] -

This pub on Welford Road, Leicester, was re-named 'Donkey' from its previous name of 'Fuzzock & Firkin', with the word 'fussock' being defined in the 'English Dictionary of Slang' as a donkey or large fat woman.

 

Dovecote [1] -

A separate structure of niches in walls to house birds (particularly pigeons for their eggs and as food) has been a part of many cultures for centuries, but it was the Romans who introduced the practice to England.  The Norman Conquest saw a change with the introduction of dovekeeping and a dovecote became a feature of many country houses throughout the medieval period.

 

Duck [1] / Dirty Duck [2] -

'Dirty Duck' became a name usually adopted in a re-naming after being a nickname for pubs named 'Black Swan' or similar.

 

Dun Cow [6] -

'Dun' refers to the dun gene which affects pigment in the coats of a number of animals (horses, cattle, cats etc.) to lighten the base body coat and gives a classic colour of grey-gold or tan.

Red Cow [5] / Red Cow Hotel [2] / Blue Cow [1] / White Cow [1] / Cow & Plough [1]

 

Durham Ox [8] -

The 'Durham Ox' was a much celebrated beast bred by brothers Charles and Robert Colling

of Ketton Farm in 1796.  It exemplified the fad of the time for the breeding of ever larger farm

animals, and, at its maximum weighed over 270 stones.

For six years it toured England and Scotland, and was shown (for a small fee) at numerous

agricultural fairs and markets, before, in 1807, when on show in Oxford, it dislocated a hip

and had to be slaughtered two months later.

Not only did its touring attract huge crowds and make an enormous profit, but thousands of

prints (produced by John Boultbee in 1802) were sold, and many inns and coaching houses

became the 'Durham Ox'.

Ox Lea Hotel [1] -

The name 'Ox Lea' refers to a particularly highly prized beast and the pasture where it grazed.

The pub at Shepshed was  named after the nearby 'Oxley Wood' (later 'White Horse Wood'.

                Durham Ox

(etching by John Boultbee 1802)

Eagle [1] / Eagle Inn [1] / Spread Eagle [2] -

An eagle with its wings spread was an emblem used by the Romans which spread throughout Europe in heraldry during and following the Crusades.  A number of families in the British nobility gave adopted the device of a 'spread eagle' since those times.

 

Eclipse Vaults [1] -

See Sports and Games.

 

Elephant Inn [1] -

One explanation for 'Elephant' as a public house name is the Cockney rhyming slang phrase, 'Elephant's trunk' - 'drunk'.

Elephant & Castle [3] -

The name 'Elephant & Castle derives from the crest of the Worshipful Company of Cutlers.  A coat of arms was first granted to the Company in 1476, but the elephant and castle crest was not granted until 1622.  The elephant is presumed to allude to the ivory used for hafting swords and knives etc., and the castle relates to a howdah, being the basket used for hunting from the back of an elephant.

 

Falcon [4] / Falcon Hotel [1] / Falcon Tap [1] / Old Falcon [1] -

'Falcon' was a popular name for inns from medieval times, reflecting the hunting practices pursued by the nobility.

Falconner [1]

 

Fallow Deer [1] -

Fallow deer are a species native to Western Europe and introduced into Britain by thr Romans.

 

Fish & Quart Hotel [1] -

The name 'Fish & Quart' for this public house on Churchgate, Leicester, stems from a period when porters from the City's fish market frequented the pub and drank their ale by the quart.

 

Fox [11] / Fox Inn [9] / New Running Fox [1] / Fox Hotel [1] / Foxhound [1] / Foxhunter [1] / Fox & Hounds [18] -

An obvious hunting connection throughout Leicestershire and Rutland.

Reynard [1] -

Originating in medieval fables, 'Reynard' became the name for a fox.  In the Old High German meaning 'strong in counsel' and in the Old French meaning 'craftiness'.

Fox & Goose [4] -

Early 'Fox & Goose' inn signs referred to the popular medieval tale 'Reynard the Fox'.  Later it became associated with the gane 'fox and geese', a sort of nine men's morris.

Fox & Tiger [2] /

Fox & Grapes [2] -

The 'Fox & Grapes' is an Aesop's fable in which a thirsty fox fails to grab a bunch of grapes which are just out of his reach.  He gives up and walks off saying, "I'm sure they're sour anyway" - the origin of the saying 'sour grapes'.

Snooty Fox [1] / Quorndon Fox [1] / Crafty Fox [1] / Red Fox [1] / Sorrel Fox [1] / 

Six Packs [1] -

The 'Six Packs' in Market Harborough is a reference to that number of local foxhound packs.

 

Gardener [1] / Gardener's Arms [1] -

see under Trades and Occupations.

 

Gate [8] / Gate Inn [6] / Gate Hangs Well [2] -

Dependant upon the pubs location, 'Gate' is usually depicted as a five bar field gate, a lychgate to a churchyard or even a Town or City gate, however, the origin is the Saxon word 'geat' which rather than being a physical gate, was a gap or opening in an enclosure through which livestock were herded.

 

Goose [1] / Grey Goose [1] / Geese & Fountain [1]

 

Grazier's Arms [2] -

'Grazier' was the name given to a farmer, or any person, who reared sheep or cattle on a patch of grazing land.

 

Greyhound [13] / Greyhpund Inn [2] / New Greyhound Inn [1] / Old Greyhound [1] / Old Greyhound Inn [1] -

Greyhounds were originally used as hunting dogs.  The name 'grey' does not refer to the colour, but is a derivation of 'gaze-hound', which referred to a number of dog breeds which hunted by sight and speed rather than scent.

In public house terms, there are references to both the animal and to mail coaches (particularly the London to Birmingham coach), and in heraldic terms, the 'greyhound' is associated with the Dukes of Newcastle (originally thr Cavendish family).

 

Hare (Old Hare) [1] / Hare & Hounds [7] / Old Hare & Hounds [1] -

'Hare & Hounds' is a reference to the sport of hare coursing where packs of greyhounds or beagles hunt hares by sight rather than scent.

Hare & Pheasant [4]

 

Harrow Inn [2] -

At one time a common sign, being the farming implement which is used to break up clods of earth and root up weeds.

 

Hatchet & Cleaver [1] -

More usually 'Hatchet & Bill' or 'Axe & Cleaver' in reference to hedging tools and associated with forestry.

 

Hen & Chickens [2] -

The phrase 'hen & chickens' has had a number of connotations over time, and by the 19th century was applied to a children's game, but in public house terms 'hens' were large pewter pots with 'chickens' as smaller ones.

Chicken [1]

 

Hereford Ox [1] -

Herefords are a breed of beef cattle distinguished by their red bodied and white headed colouring.

 

Hercules (Hercules Revived) [1] -

The 'Hercules' at Sutton Cheney' is named after the racehorse owned by Charles Tollemache Scott, Squire

of Bosworth Hall who named it after a statue of Hercules subduing the Nemeon lion (the first of his

12 labours), which Baronet Dixie had brought back from his European Grand Tour and erected in

Southwood Park.  

Today, the monument stands on private land in a turnip field and the remains of the racehorse lie buried

under a flat stone close by.

 

Hercules subduing the Nemeon lion

Hind [1] / Hind Hotel [2] -

A 'hind' is the female of the Red Deer with the male being a 'stag' or 'hart'.

 

Horse & Groom [12] / Horse & Hounds [1] / Horse & Jockey [12] / Horse & Trumpet [7] /

Horse & Panniers [2] -

Panniers' or dorsers' were wooden, canvas or leather bags or containers hung either side of a pack horse.

Black Horse [24] / Black Horse Inn [11] / Old Black Horse [1] / Old Black Horse Inn [1] -

In heraldry, the colour black signifies 'constancy' or sometimes 'grief' and the horse signifies a 'readiness for all employments for King and Country'.

Brown Horse [1] / Grey Horse [1] / Old Grey Horse Inn [1] /

Flying Horse [4] / Old Flying Horse [2] / Ye Olde Flying Horse [1] -

see under Myths & Legends.

Waggon & Horses [10] / Wagon & Horses [2] / Waggon & Horses Inn [1] -

Most public houses named the 'Waggon & Horses' indicated establishments where a wagon and horses were available for hire.

White Horse [16] / White Horse Inn [5] -

'White Horse' has been used as a punlic house name since the 15th century.  It is associated with the Kings of Wessex and is the emblem of Kent.

In heraldic terms a galloping white horse refers to the House of Hanover and a white horse is used as a symbol in the arms of several Guilds, including Carmen, Coachmen, Farriers, Innkeepers, Saddlers and Wheelwrights.

Old Horse [2] -

The 'Old Horse' on London Road is a 19th century coaching inn set back from the Leicester to Market Harborough turnpike.

Van & Horses [1] /

Nag's Head [16] / Nag's Head Inn [2] / Nag's Head & Star [1] -

Originally, public houses named the 'Nag's Head' undoubtably indicated an inn or tavern which held horses for hire, but latterly, a number of inn signs showed an ill-tempered old woman, so advertising a refuge from a nagging wife.

 

Hunter's Rest [1] / Hunter's Arms Hotel [1] / Huntsman [3] / Huntsman & Hounds [1] / Hunting Lodge (Lodge Hotel) [1] /

Hunter's Moon [1] -

A ;hunter's moon' is the full moon in October following the 'harvest moon'.

 

Jolly Angler [2] / Jolly Miller [2] / Jolly Millers [1] -

The word 'jolly' has been used as an enhancement to the name of pubs since very early times, suggesting a happy and jovial disposition.

Jolly Farmers [1] -

The Worshipful Company of Farmers was granted a Royal Charter in 1955.

 

Lamb [4] -

See under Religious.

Wolf & Lamb [2] -

In heraldry the 'wolf' denotes perseverance and industry and the 'lamb' denotes honour and gentleness.

 

Kingfisher Inn [1] -

A group of small to medium brightly coloured birds in the order Coraciiformes found in the tropics and in temperate regions.

 

Lion [1] / Lion Hotel [1] / Lion & Dolphin [1] /

Lion & Lamb [2] / Lion & Lamb Hotel [1] -

See under Religious.

Black Lion [3] -

'Black Lion' was an Heraldic sign related to Queen Philippa of Hainault, wife of King Edward III.  In Wales, Owen Glendower and Madoc ap Meredith had black lions on their coats of arms.

Blue Lion [3] / Blue Lion Hotel [1] -

The arms of the Royal house of Denmark includes three crowned blue lions and dates back to a seal used by King Canute who died in 1035.

The 'Blue Lion' was also part of the crest of the Percy family.  The surname 'Percy' being a derivation of the parish of 'Perci' near St. Lo in Normandy, and arrived in England in 1066 when William de Percy fought under William the Conquerer at the Battle of Hastings, and was rewarded with land in Yorkshire.  The name is most associated with the Town of Alnwick in Northumberland where Henry Lord Percy purchased the castle in 1309.

Golden Lion [2] -

A 'Golden Lion' first appeared in English heraldry in 1127, when King Henry I gave his son-in-law, Geoffrey, a blue shield emblazoned with a golden lion.  From the reign of King Richard I (1157-99), the 'golden lion' has appeared in the coat of arms of all English Monarchs.

Red Lion [42] / Red LIon Inn [2] / Red Lyon [1] / Old Red Lion [3] / Ye Olde Red LIon Hotel [1] -

'Red Lion' is the most common name for a public house in England, and derives from the badge of John O'Gaunt in the 14th century.

A 'red lion' also has an heraldic connection with Scotland, stemming from the fact that when James VI of Scotland came to the English throne as King James I, he ordered that an heraldic 'red lion' should be displayed in all public places.

White Lion [6] / White Lion Inn [2] / White Lion Hotel [2] -

A 'White Lion' was part of the crest of the Mowbray family.  The surname 'Mowbray' stems from the village of 'Montbray' in Normandy, and arrived in England in 1066 when Geoffrey de Montbray accompanied William the Conquerer.  He was rewarded with land for his part in the Conquest, and by 1080, his nephew, Robert de Montbray, had become Earl of Northumberland.

By 1475, the Baronial line had died out in England, but the line from an earlier generation survived in Scotland and eventually spread back down into England, settling predominantly in the counties of Durham, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire.

Two Tailed Lion [1] A reference to the coat of arms of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester.

 

Magpie [1] / Magpie & Stump [1] -

The arms of Anne Boleyn include a white falcon perching on a tree stunp, and the sign of a 'Magpie & Stump' may have started as some sort of ironic or political statement following her life with King Henry VIII.

 

Mallard [1] -

The sign at the 'Mallard' public house in Home Farm Walk showed a flying duck, but other 'Mallard' pub signs around the Country show the steam locomotive which set the world speed record of 126mph in 1938.

 

Milk Maid [1] -

An obvious farming connection.

 

Mill House [1] / Mill on the Soar [1] / Mill Lane Tavern [1] /

Millstone [2] / Millstone Inn [1] -

Circular stones, used in pairs, to grind corn and other grains.  The lower 'bedstone' remains stationary, whilst the upper 'runner' stone rotates.

 

New Cattle Market Hotel [1] -

Leicester's Town Hall and Town Hall Square were built 1874-76 partially on land previously occupied by the Town's cattle market, which had been re-located to the Freeman's Common area of the South Field to take advantage of the new rail link.  The 'New Cattle Market Hotel' opened in 1870 on the opposite side o Aylestone Road to the Cattle Market.

 

Nut & Squirrel [1]

 

Otter [1]

 

Owl & Pussycat [1] -

The 'Owl and the Pussycat' is a nonsense poem by Edward Lear featuring anthropomorphic animals and first published in 1871.

Oadby Owl [1]

 

Old Pheasant [1] -

The pheasant shooting season in England, Scotland and Wales is between October 1st and February 1st.

 

Parrott [1] -

Because of the possibility for a brightly coloured pub sign, and through many ex-sailors who took up the trade and kept one, a parrot became a popular early pub name and sign.

 

Peacock [6] / Peacock Inn [4] / Old Peacock [1] -

The peacock has an heraldic connection and appears on the arms of the Manners family, as Earls and Dukes of Rutland.

 

Pelican Hotel [1] -

Origins for the 'Pelican' vary.  As well as the obvious bird, some public houses were named after the ship, the 'Pelican', in which Drake circumnavigated the globe in 1577.  Part way through the voyage he changed the name of the ship to 'Golden Hind' in deference to the coat of arms of his partner Sir Christopher Hatton.

The 'Pelican' sign can also refer to the arms of Bishop Fox, founder of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

 

Pig & Whistle [2] -

See under Brewing and Food & Drink.

Pig in Muck [1] /

Blue Pig Inn [1] -

The influence of the Manners family on the names of public houses in this part of Leicestershire shows itself in this Garthorpe pub, where, in order to show their allegiance to the Whigs (Liberal Party), many of the inns which the family bought or controlled added the word 'Blue' as a prefix.

 

Plough [26] / Plough Inn [14] / Plough Hotel [1] / New Plough [1] / New Plough Inn [1] /

Old Plough [4] / Old Plough Inn [1] / Plough & Harrow [1]

 

Poacher's Pocket [1] / Poachers [1] -

The exploits of poaching have long been associated with the country pubs of England.

 

Polar Bear [1] -

The 'Fullback & Firkin'  changed its name to the 'Polar Bear' in commemoration of the Fox's Glacier

Mints factory which stood on Oxford Street from 1921 until 1965 when it moved to a new site on

Sunningdale Road.  The trade mark of the company was a polar bear standing on top of a glacier

mint.  Nicknamed 'Peppy' (from peppermint), the design was produced by Clarence Reginald Dalby

(1904-83), an Oadby man who was a regular drinker at the 'New Inn', Oadby.  

Provision of the original trademark was accompanied by a travelling advertisement featuring a

stuffed polar bear which was eventually donated to the New Walk Museum (exhibited in 2009).

 

'Peppy' the polar bear

Pug & Greyhound [1]

 

Rainbow & Dove [1] -

See under Religious.

 

Ram [6] / Ram Inn [1] -

The 'Ram' has been used as a pub sign since the 14th century, and appears in the arms of the 'Worshipful Company of Clothworkers' and other livery companies associated with the wool trade.

 

Rat & Ferret [1] -

An early farming connection which expanded into an urban context in Victorian times, where a ferret was the most efficient of rat catchers.

 

Red Admiral [1] -

See under Military.

 

Reindeer [1] -

A species of deer from the Arctic and other Northern climes which became associated with Father Christmas following the publication of the poem 'The Night Before Christmas' written by Clement C. Moore in 1823.

 

Repository Hotel [1] -

The Leicestershire Horse Repository, an auction house for horses, originally on Belgrave Gate, moved to Charles Street in 1875 only to be demolished some 30 years later (note - 'Epic House' now stands on the site).

The 'Horsebreakers Inn' (later the 'Horse Repository') is first listed on Belgrave Gate in 1864.  It was demolished in the 1960's as part of the Haymarket redevelopment.

 

Roebuck [7] / Roebuck Inn [1] / Buck's Head [2] / Old Blue Buck [1]-

A 'Roebuck' is the male of the species Capreolus capreolus (Roe deer) - a relatively small, reddish-brown in summer and greyish-brown in winter species, widespread in Western Europe and native to Britain since before Mesolithic times.  They were hunted to extinction in England by 1800, but survived in Scotland.  However, re-introductions during Victorian times and subsequent natural spread, has meant that Roe deer are,, once more, widespread and abundant today across  England.

The name 'Roe' is from the Old English 'raha', or Germanic 'reh', meaning 'streaked' or 'spotted'.

 

Royal George [1] -

Because of his passionate interest in gardening and agriculture, King George III (1738-1820) was affectionately known as 'Farmer George'.

 

Salmon [1] -

'Salmon' was first used as a public house name in the 17th century when salmon could still be caught in the Thames.

 

Stag [3] / Stag Inn [1] / Stag & Pheasant [5] / Stag & Pheasant Commercial Hotel [1] / Stag's Head [1] / Stag & Hounds [4] /

Stag & Castle [1] -

See under Transport.

 

Stork's Head [1] -

Historically storks were thought to mate for life and to re-use the same nesting sites year after year.  They are also portrayed in folklore as the bird which brings new born babies.  This portrayal of the stork as a bringer of good luck led to its use as a pub sign.

 

Swallow [1] -

A bird with a worldwide distribution from the Hirundinidae family.

 

Swan [8] / Swann [1] / Swan Hotel [1] / Swan Inn [4] / New Swan [1] / Old Swan [2] /

Swan & Fish [1] / Swan & Salmon [1] /

Swan & Rushes [1] / Swan in the Rushes [1] -

Signs for pubs with these names usually show a swan in its nesting environment.

Swan With Two Necks [3] -

The name originated in the 16th century.  Swans have traditionally been the property of the

Monarch, but Queen Elizabeth I granted the 'Worshipful Company of Vintners' rights to a yearly

quota.  In order to recognize a vintners swan, two 'notches' or 'nicks' were cut into the beak.

The words 'nick' and 'neck' were synonymous at the time and the name stuck.  However, over

the years, almost all pubs of the name have utilized the image of a two headed swan.

Black Swan [11] -

Two thousand years ago, black swan's were not known in Europe and the Romans used the 

saying 'black swan' much as we today use the saying 'hen's teeth'.

'Black Swan' was first used as a pub name in the 16th century, and is thought to have been

applied to indicate that the landlord was a rare and remarkable person.

White Swan [13] / White Swan Inn [2] / Old White Swan [1] /

Three Swans Hotel [1] -

See under Religious.

16th century swan markings

Talbot [11] / Talbot Arms [1] / Talbot Inn [1] / Old Talbot Inn [1] / George & Talbot [1] -

A 'Talbot' was a white hunting dog, now extinct, but considered an ancestor of the modern beagle and possibly the bloodhound.

Together with the greyhound, the talbot is the only other dog breed used in heraldry and is the family name of the Earls of Shrewsbury.

 

Tally Ho [1] -

'Tally Ho' is the hunting cry which announces that a fox has been sited.  The English term can be traced back to the 18th century and is probably derived from the French 'taille haut', a cry used by French commanders in medieval times to activate an assault.

 

Three Cranes [3] -

The crane has been used symbolically in many cultures over many centuries representing happiness and eternal youth.

 

Tiger [2] /

Tiger's Head [1] -

See under Titles, Landowners and Personal Names.

Leicester Tiger [1] -

See under Military.

 

Venison Inn [1] -

Now usually referring to deer meat, venison originally related to meat from any game animal killed by hunting.  The word derives from the Latin 'venor' meaning to hunt, and arrived in England with the Norman invasion and the establishment of Royal hunting forests.

 

Wheat Sheaf [10] / Wheatsheaf [11] / Wheatsheaf Inn [2] -

Common as an inn sign during the 17th century, the image of a wheatsheaf is used by both the 'Worshipful Company of Brewers' and of 'Bakers'.

The Brewer's Charter was granted under King Henry VI in 1438.

 

White Boar (Blue Boar)

See under Royalty.

Blue Boar [3] -

See under Titles, Landowners and Personal Names.

 

White Hart [20] / Old White Hart [2] / White Hart Hotel [1] -

Historically, a 'Hart' is a Red Deer stag of more than five years old.

'White Hart' was the heraldic emblem of King Richard II and became a popular pub name after an Act formulated by the King in 1393 made it compulsory for inns and taverns to display a sign identifying the premises.

Red Hart [2]

 

Windmill [6] / Windmill Inn [4] -

Usually named for the proximity to, or association with, a windmill.

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