Derivation of Leicestershire and Rutland Public House Names - Sports and Games


Bowling Green [3] / Bowling Green Inn [1] / Old Bowling Green [1] -

Usually named for proximity to a bowling green.


Champion Hotel [1] / Champion Inn [1] -

Pubs around the country named the 'Champion' reflect a number of different sports (most commonly boxing), however, the 'Champion Hotel' on Loughborough Road is recorded as being named after a racehorse named 'Champion' which won the Derby / St. Leger double in 1800.


Corner Pin [1] -

'Corner Pin' is a reference to the game of skittles, variations of which have been played in many countries and over many centuries.

The link between 'beer' and 'skittles' in Britain is a long one, with both brewing and the game having their roots in early monasteries.

German monks played a version called 'kugelen' as early as the 4th century, but the earliest written record in Britain comes in the 13th century with reference to a game called 'kayles', a derivation for the French word for skittle, 'guille'.


Cricketers [2] / Cricketers' Arms [3] / Cricket Inn [1] / Cricketers' Rest [1] / Cricket Players' Hotel [1] / Cricket Players' Arms [1] / Cricketers; Hotel [1] / Cricketers' Inn [1] / Old County Cricket Ground Hotel [1] -

The 'Cricketers' on Grace Road and the 'Cricketers' Hotel' on Wharf Street are both associated with cricket grounds - see individual information sheets for further details.

Longstop [1] -

An old fashioned fielding position in cricket, 'longstop' also acted as a play on words for public houses, inviting the visitor to stay awhile.


Eclipse Vaults [1] -

'Eclipse' was a British thoroughbred racehorse born during, (and named after), the solar eclipse

in 1763/64.

He was undefeated, retired to stud in 1771, and went on to sire upto 400 other winners.


(painting by George Stubbs c1770)

Flying Childers [1] -

'Flying Childers' was a racehorse sired by 'Darley Arabian', one of the three foundation stallions

of thoroughbred bloodstock.

He was owned by the Duke of Devonshire and named after the breeder Colonel Leonard

Childers.  After winning six races out of six he was retired to stud in 1723.

Flying Childers

(painting by James Seymour c1720)

Fullback & Firkin [1] -

The 'Old Bowling Green' on Oxford Street was re-named the 'Fullback & Firkin' after Firkin Brewery established their chain in 1979 in an attempt to attract custom from both rugby and football spectators visiting the close-by games at Filbert Street and Welford Road.


Hambletonian [1] -

'Hambletonian' was a thoroughbred racehorse (1792-1818) who won 18 out of his 19 races,

including the St. Leger, before retiring to stud.

He was immortalized in a painting by George Stubbs titled 'Hambletonian Rubbing Down'.

Hambletonian Rubbing Down

(painting by George Stubbs 1800)

Half Time Orange [1] -

This public house on Burnmoor Street was named for its proximity to Leicester City's Filbert Street ground.


Hobby Horse [1] -

A straight pole with a wooden or fabric horses head with reins attached came into use as a childrens toy during Victorian times, but the concept of the 'hobby horse' stretches back much further and is associated with the traditional seasonal customs carried out in many parts of the world.

In Britain they are particularly associated with May Day celebrations carried out by Morris dancers.


Horse & Jockey [12]

An obvious horse racing connection.


Leger Tavern [1] -

The St. Leger Stakes is one of the five classic horse races run in England each year, being a flat race for three year old colts and fillies run at Doncaster over a distance of just over 1 mile and 6 furlongs.  It was named after Colonel Anthony St. Leger, an army officer and politician, and first run in 1775.


Liverpool Cup [1] -

The 'Liverpool Cup' was a horse race held annually at Aintree in July, and associated with Stanley Chaucher.


Lonsdale [1] / Lonsdale Hotel [1] -

The 'Lonsdale' pub sign shows a representation of a Lonsdale Belt, the prize awarded to British boxing champions in each weight, introduced by Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale (1857-1944), first president of the National Sporting Club which evolved into the British Boxing Board of Control in the 1930's.


Speedway Hotel [1] -

The 'Speedway Hotel' was on the opposite side of Melton Road to the Leicester Super speedway track constructed in 1928.  Official speedway meetings only lasted until 1931 and although unofficial meets (together with sidecar and greyhound racing) continued sporadically until 1936 the track was demolished and the site is now occupied by allotments.

The 'Speedway' was later re-named the 'Fossseway Hotel' and more recently converted into an Indian restaurant.


Sportsman [1] / Sportsman Inn [1] / Sports Bar [1] -

The pub sign for the 'Sportsman' on Park Rise shows a representation of Banks's logo, being an heraldic golden lion rampant holding an axe, which, incidentally, is the same as the Coat of Arms for Norway.


Turnstile [1] -

The name 'Turnstile' reflected the fact that this public house on Walnut Street was in the proximity of both Leicester City's Filbert Street and Leicester Tigers Welford Road grounds.


Victory [1] -

The 'Bedford Hotel' on Aylestone Road was re-named the 'Victory' in the 1970's.  It was initially signed by HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, but as the pub had served as changing rooms for the Tigers before the building of the clubhouse across the road, the sign changed in the early 1990's to depict a Tiger's player scoring a try.  In 2000 the sign was changed again to depict a sporting trophy held high in celebration of Leicester City's two League Cup wins (1997 & 2000), as well as the Tiger's consecutive Championships in 1999 and 2000.  The Everards sign included the words 'Leicester's Sporting Pub'.


Wimbledon Target [1] -

Thought to relate to the fact that from 1860 until 1889, (when it moved to Bisley), the 'National Rifle Association' had its ranges on Wimbledon Common.

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