Friday, April 10, 2009


My little sister Elizabeth is a well published author and journalist. Living in Denver, Colorado, her work is in great demand all over the world (lucky girl) and she always finds interesting nuggets of history for her website which enjoys a host of returning regular viewers. I like this particular piece about our English pub signs. Every 'hostelry' she has mentioned can be seen around our English (and particularly, our Essex countryside. Here is a tiny glimpse of her super website.
Pub signs have been used in England since the 14th century when in 1393 King Richard II ordered landlords to put signs outside their premises so they were easy to identify. Some pubs have maintained the same name for centuries. The signs were highly graphical to make it easy for travelers who would neither read nor write to recognize the name of the establishment. Pubs (or inns if they offered rooms to rent) were often used as landmarks together with churches, milestones and cairns to help a traveler find their destination. Often the signs indicated an allegiance to the crown with names such as “The King’s Head” or “Queen’s Head”, but others signified the area specialty such as “The Lamb and Fleece” (farming) or “The Cutlers Arms” (an area known for their cutlery expertise). Visit: WWW.EXTRAORDINARYPLACES.COM