Derivation of Leicestershire and Rutland Public House Names - Location and Buildings


Balmoral [1] -

The Balmoral Estate is located in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, and has been the Scottish home of the British Royal family since Queen Victoria purchased it in 1848.


Bank [2] -

Both these outlets in Leicester City Centre are named for their previous incarnations as banks.


Bar Alcazar [1] -

An 'Alcazar' is a castle in Spain and Portugal, with those from the Moorish period being called 'Alcazabas'.  The term 'Alcazar' derives from the Arabic 'al-qasr' meaning fort or castle, which, itself, derives from the Latin 'castrum' meaning army camp or fort.


Bow Bridge Inn [1] -

See under Royalty.


Bower [1] -

A leafy shelter.


Bowstring [1] -

Named for its proximity to the 'Bowstring Bridge,' now demolished, which carried the Great Central

Railway line over Western Boulevard.


Bowstring Bridge, Western Boulevard

Bradgate Arms [2] -

Both pubs named for their proximity to Bradgate Park which was first enclosed as a deer park some 800 years ago.


Cape of Good Hope [1] -

Originally the 'Cape of Storms', the 'Cape of Good Hope' was re-named by Prince Henry the Navigator because it offered hope of a sea route around Africa to India.  In public house terms, it usually signified ex-seamen who became landlords.


Castle [2] / Castle Inn [7] / Castle Hotel [1] / Old Castle [1] / Haunted Castle [1] /

Belvoir Castle [2] -

Sat on high ground overlooking the Vale of Belvoir in Leicestershire, the current Belvoir Castle is the fourth to have stood on the site since Norman times, and is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland.

Dover Castle [1] -

Dover stands on the southern coast of England at the point of the shortest crossing to mainland Europe, and has been fortified since the Iron Age.

William strengthened Anglo-Saxon fortifications after the Conquest in 1066, before the keep and additional defences which make up part of what still stands today were built during the reign of King Henry II in the 1180's.

Leicester Castle (Castle) (Old Castle) (Castle Bowling Green) [1] -

After attacking, and destroying, much of Leicester in 1068, Hugh de Grentmesnil, who had fought alongside William the Conquerer at Hastings and was rewarded with over 100 Manors including 65 in Leicestershire, built the Motte and Bailey castle to the West of the Town.  The motte was re-modelled and lowered during the 19th century to incorporate a bowling green with the adjacent 'Castle Bowling Green Inn' being first listed in 1815.

Castle Park Hotel [1] / Castle Tavern [1] / Lancastrian Castle [1] /

Nottingham Castle [1] -

The original Nottingham Castle was built by William the Conquerer in 1068.  Following extensive changes during the reigns of King Henry III and Edward IV, the Parliamentary Council of 1651 ordered the slighting of the Castle and it was demolished from within.  Two years later, William Cavendish purchased the site and built the current Ducal Mansion.  In 1875 it was leased by the City Council and by 1878 had been opened to the public as the first provincial Museum of Fine Art.

Stirling Castle [1] -

Although a hill fort since before Roman times, the first 'castle' at Stirling, was built by Alexander I, King of the Scots, in 1110.

Historically, it is most associated in the lifelong problems between Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Warwick Castle [1] -

Warwick Castle was built adjacent to the Anglo-Saxon Burgh of Warwick on a bend in the River Avon in 1068 by William the Conquerer.

The Greville family lived in the property between the early 17th century and 1978, when it became a member of the heritage consortium, 'The Treasure Houses of England'.

Windsor Castle [1] -

Windsor Castle, the current residence of the British Royal family, was originally built in the decade after the Norman invasion in 1066.

York Castle [1] -

First built as a Motte and Bailey castle in 1068, following the Norman Conquest.

Belvoir Castle

Nottingham Castle

Leicester Castle

Stirling Castle

Dover Castle

Warwick Castle

Windsor Castle

York Castle

Charnwood Forest [2] / Charnwood Arms [1] / Charnwood Inn [1] / Charnwood Temperance Hotel [1] / Charnwood Social Club [1] -

Charnwood Forest is an upland area in North-West Leicestershire of over 6,000 acres and formed of precambrian rocks, with craggy hilltops, heath, woodland, grassland and wetland areas, and encompasses a number of well establihed villages.


Chartwell Arms [1] -

Chartwell in Kent was the home of Sir Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine between 1922 and

his death in 1965.

It is now run by the National Trust.

Chartwell House, Kent

Chatsworth [1] -

See under Titles, Landowners and Personal Names.


Cotes Mill [1] -

This pub was a conversion of Loughborough lower mill, a water mill also known as 'Cotes Mill' because of its proximity to Cotes village/

Water mills on this stretch of the River Soar have been recorded since the Domesday Book.


Counting House [1] -

Part of the old cattle market on Aylestone Road. Leicester, this Grade II listed building was converted into a pub by GK Pubs in 1996.


Crystal Palace [1] -

The original Crystal Palace was a cast iron and plate glass building designed by Joseph

Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, London.

After the exhibition, and because of the public popularity, the buildings components were

re-erected to form a new building at Sydenham Hill in South-East London, re-opening in

1854 as the 'National Centre for Enlightenment'.  It was destroyed by fire in 1936.

Exhibition Inn [1] -

The Great Exhibition of 1851 took place in Hyde Park, London and lasted from May 1st

until October 15th.  It was held in response to the successful 'French Industrial

Exposition' of 1844, and was organized by a Royal Commission led by Prince Albert.

The main exhibition building was a 990,000 sq. ft. cast iron and plate glass prefabricated

modular building designed by Joseph Paxton which became known as the 'Crystal Palace'.  

After the exhibition, it was taken down and re-erected on Penge Common next to

Sydenham Hill, where it remained until being destroyed by fire in 1936.


Dannett's Hall Tavern [1] -

'Danet's Hall' stood near the junction of modern Fosse Road and King richard's Road.  

It belonged to the Danet family from the 15th century until 1700 when it was sold to

John Watts who built a new mansion on the site.  'Watts Causeway' was named after

John Watts and later during the redevelopment of the Danet's Hall estate in the 1860's,

when the 'Leicester Freehold Land Society' bought it from its last owner, Dr. Noble MP,

'Watts Causeway' was re-named 'King Richard's Road'.  The public house named

'Dannett's Hall Tavern' appeared on the corner of Dannett Street and Noble Street as

part of the re-development.


Crystal Palace

Danet's Hall

Dry Dock [1] -

A re-located (to Putney Rd. Leicester) canal barge turned into a public house and positioned close to student accommodation.


Eaton Bray Hotel [1] -

'Eaton Bray' is a village in Bedfordshire.


Epernay [1] -

A commune in the Marne Department of Northern France, best known for its production of Cmampagne.


Foxton Locks Inn (Bridge 61) [1] -

Foxton Locks date from around 1810 and consist of two staircases of locks (five in each).  

They are set on the 'Grand Union Canal' and form the largest set of locks of its kind on

the English canal system.

Built close to the bottom of these flights as a toll keeper's cottage, the 'Foxton Locks Inn'

became a public house in 1980, and now trades under the name 'Bridge 61'.


Foxton Locks

Halfway House [4] -

Public houses of this name were usually positioned on country roads between settlements and served as stagecoach stops.


Hambleton Hall [1] -

'Hambleton Hall' was built in 1881 by brewer Walter Marshall as a country retreat from where he and his guests could pursue their love of fox hunting.  The hall was converted into a country house hotel in 1979.


Highcross [1] / High Cross Tavern [1] -

The 'High Cross' in Leicester was a shelter erected in 1577 at the site of the Wednesday and Friday markets which were held along what is now called 'Highcross Street from the 12th century.  (Note - by 1884, the Wednesday and Friday High Cross markets had been moved to the Saturday, and current, market site).

The shelter was circular with 8 stone pillars supporting a pointed roof (note - there was a one shilling fine for hanging washing between the pillars).  By 1773 the structure had fallen into disrepair and was sold off.  One pillar remained in-situ until 1836 when it was bought by John Rawson, owner of 'The Crescent' in King Street.  After being placed at various sites, the pillar was eventually, in 1977, placed in Cheapside at the entrance to the current Leicester market, before, in 2015, being re-located to the new Jubilee Square development close to its original home.

The location of the original High Cross is marked by three paving stones (forming a cross) set in the tarmac of Highcross Street.

               The High Cross

(engraving by John Flower c1830)

Paving stones which mark the

spot of the original High Cross

     The High Cross 

(Jubilee Square 2015)

Hole in the Wall [2] -

A number of varients including -

references to holes in the walls of condemned cells, or holes in the walls of debtor's prisons through which food could be passed, or simply be a reference to the pubs entrance being through a narrow passage or under a railway arch.


Kenilworth [1] -

'Kenilworth Castle' was the major stronghold of the House of Lancaster, and began its association with Leicester when Blanche, daughter of Henry de Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, married John O'Gaunt in 1359.

John Dudley (1504-53), 1st Duke of Northumberland, was granted Kenilworth Castle in 1553, but his execution in the same year for his support of Lady Jane Grey against Mary, Queen of Scots, led to its removal.  However, by 1564, under Queen Elizabeth I, Dudley's son, Robert, Earl of Leicester (1532-88), regained the seat.  Over the next 11 years, Dudley, in an attempt to impress Elizabeth into marriage, continually extended and modernised Kenilworth.  This culminated in 1575 when Queen Elizabeth, together with over 30 Barons and 400 staff, visited or 19 days.

Although Dudley was undoubtably Elizabeth's favourite, she would not marry him, and, when he died without legitimate issue and almost bankrupt, in 1588, the castle passed to his brother, Ambrose, Earl of Warwick (1530-90).


Lake Isle Hotel [1] -

The name 'Lake Isle' is taken from a poem by W. B. Yeats (1865-1939).  Written in 1888 the 'Lake Isle of Innisfree' is a 12 line poem expressing the authors longing for the tranquility of an uninhabited island in Lough Gill, a freshwater lake which straddles the boundary between County Sligo and County Leitrim in Ireland.


Manor [3] / Manor Hotel [1] / Manor House Hotel [1] / Old Manor Inn [1] -

Historically a unit of land in the form of a feudal lordship consisting of an estate with rented areas for tenanys.


Marina [1] -

The 'Marina' in Hinckley is named for its proximity to the Ashby Canal Marina.


Newarke Tavern [1] -

Named for its proximity to the Newarke area of Leicester - a 4 acre parcel of land provided (in 1330) by Henry Grosmont, 3rd Earl of Lancaster and Leicester for the erection of a hospital.  The surrounding walls have been demolished, but the Turret and Magazine gateways remain.  

The 'Trinity hospital' was, in fact, a set of Almshouses partially re-built in 1901.


Old Buttercross [1] -

A 'buttercross' was a building which originated in medieval times, usually being an opened

sided shelter with pillars supporting a roof, and used as a communal market stall for

farmers to sell their produce in the closest market town.

The closest remaining 'buttercross' to this pub in Barleythorpe is in Oakham.

The Buttercross, Oakham

Opera Hotel [1] -

The 'Royal Opera House' opened in Leucester in 1877.  It was designed by prolific theatre architect C. J. Phipps and fronted onto Silver Street with a rear entrance on Cank Street.  The maximum capacity was for 2,550 people.  Having closed for a period during the 1950's, the Opera House re-opened in 1959 before finally closing down and being demolished in 1960.  (The Malcolm Arcade now occupies the site).

The nearby 'Queen's Head' on Town Hall Lane, changed its name to the 'Opera Hotel' in 1890 at the height of the Opera House's popularity.


Parcel Yard [1] -

Named in recognition of the buildings original use as a sorting office and parcel yard for British Rail.


(Old) Porter's Lodge [1] -

The 'Old Porter's Lodge' on New Bond Street was formally the lodge at one of the entrances to the Earl of Huntingdon's residence in the Swinesmarket called the 'Lord's Place'.


Quay [1] -

Converted to a public house from the original Great Central Railway generator and hydraulic power house building, the 'Quay', on Western Boulevard, was named for its proximity to the canal.


Reservoir Inn [1] -

The 'Reservoir Inn' at Cropston appeared shortly after the opening of Cropston Reservoir in 1871.

Reservoir Inn [1] -

Named for its proximity to Thornton Reservoir, built in 1854 and now used as a well known game fishery.


Riverside [1] -

Originally the 'Riverside' at Barrow-upon-Soar was part of the coal wharf associated with the opening of the canal in 1794.  With the rise of the railways and the fall of the canals, it became a boat hire centre, with the 'Boat House Cafe' being opened in 1933.  Turned into the 'Riverside' public house in the 1980's, it has subsequently been re-named the 'Boat House'.


Rock Inn [1] -

The 'Rock Inn' at Mountsorrel was named for its proximity to local granite outcrops and quarries.


Shearsby Bath [1] -

The 'Shearsby Bath' was named to commemorate the holy well to the southwest of the village which was turned into a spa during the early 19th century.  Although its popularity did not last long, the name continues to this day.


Soar Point [1] -

Named as a play on words as well as for its proximity to the River Soar.


Slate Pit Inn [1] -

The 'Slate Pit Inn' at Woodhouse Eaves was named in recognition of historic slate quarries in the vicinity.


Spitalhouse Inn [1] -

The word 'Spitalhouse' originally referred to a hospital.


Tivoli [1] -

The 'Tivoli Gardens' is an amusement park in Copenhagen opened by Georg Carstensen (1812-57) in 1843.  It was named after the 'Jardin de Tivoli' in Paris, which in turn, was named after Tivoli near Rome.


Uncle Tom's Cabin [1] -

'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was an anti-slavery novel, written by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe, and published in 1852.


Vikings Tun [1] -

The word 'tun' refers to a cask of wine or beer equivalent to a capacity of 252 gallons, however this 'Vikings Tun' on Launceston Road undoubtably relates to the early name for Wigston, being 'Vikingr's Tun', a farming enclosure run by a Viking overlord.  (In this regard 'Tun' refers to an Anglo-Saxon enclosure or farmstead).  The village name changed around the year 868 when a new settlement grew ater the original had been destroyed in fighting.


Waterfront [1] -

Named for its proximity to the canal wharf in Market Harborough.


Workhouse [1] -

A new Union wprkhouse opened on Sparkenhoe Street in Leicester in 1838.  

It replaced a number of workhouses which operated before that time and were situated

in the Parishes of All Saint's, Dt. Margaret's, St. Mary's and St. Martin's.

Joseph Merrick (1862-90), known as the 'Elephant Man', was a resident of the

workhouse between 1880-84.

The 'Workhouse' became 'Hillcrest Hospital', which closed in 1974 and was demolished

in 1977.


Leicester Workhouse (1880)

World's End [1] -

'World's End' used as a public house name originated in the 17th century, and reflected the fact that the pub in question was in an isolated position.


Leicestershire and Rutland Pubs named after Other Cities, Towns or Villages -

Beaconsfield Inn [1]

Birmingham Arms [1] / Birmingham Tavern [1] 

Birstall Arms [1]

Bradford Arms [1]

Braunstone [1]

Brighton Arms [1]

Burton Arms [1]

Cambridge Arms [1]

Coventry Arms [2]

Cranbourne Arms [1] / Cranbourne Temperance Hotel [1]

Edinburgh Temperance Hotel [1]

Ellesmere Club & Institute [1]

Glasgow Arms [1]

Kelso [1]

Lancaster Arms [1]

Leamington House [1]

Leeds Tavern [1]

Leicester Inn [1]

Lichfield Arms [1] / Lichfield Tavern [1]

Loughborough House [1]

Maidenhead [1]

Manchester Hotel [1]

Melton Hotel [1]

Minnesota's [1]

Montana's [1]

Northampton Arms [1] / Northamptonshire House [1]

Nottingham Arms [1]

Preston Arms [1]

Richmond [1] / Richmond Arms [2]

Stamford Club [1]

Uppingham [1]

Wanlip Inn [1]

Warwick Arms [1] / Warwickshire Arms [1]

Welford Tavern [1]




  • Facebook App Icon
  • Twitter App Icon
  • Google+ App Icon