Pub
Inventions>Food

British Pub

A typical English country pub
A typical English country pub

 

Beginnings

Probably the greatest British Invention of them all!

The 'Pub', short for Public House, has a very long history.

The Brits have been drinking a beer like liquid since at least the Bronze Age, but it was the arrival of the Romans that the first Taverns began to appear. Originally meant to provide food and refreshment for Roman soldiers they were built all over England.

When the Romans finally withdrew from Britain they left behind the beginnings of the modern pub. In 965 King Edgar the then ruler of England, decreed that there should be one Ale House per village (now that's my kind of ruler). By this time the use of pub signs was also well established helping the illiterate population (or were they just drunk?) to identify drinking establishments around the country.

Moving on
A pint of British beer
A pint of British beer

The use of pint for beer dates back to 1215 when a measure for ale was standardised in the Magna Carter. The word Inn is derived from the Saxon meaning room. At one time each establishment was named according to what services it was legally allowed to provide. An ale house could only serve ale, a tavern was the urban equivalent to a country Inn both providing rooms for travellers in addition to being able to serve food and ale. The difference between these three establishments has become blurred with the passage of time; Inns and taverns have evolved into hotels the ale house into what is the modern pub.


By 1625 there were over thirteen thousand Inns and Taverns around the country for a population of just five million. As the number grew so did the number of breweries and by 1800 there were twenty four thousand.


Pub names
Typical Pub sign
Typical Pub sign

The naming of the pubs is always amusing to visitors. The most common name for a pub today is ‘The Red Lion’. The name originates from the time of James VI of Scotland when he ascended the English throne in 1603. He ordered that the heraldic red lion of Scotland be displayed on all buildings of importance including taverns.
A way for Innkeepers to show their loyalty it is perhaps no surprise that so many pubs bear names such as ‘The Kings Arms’ ‘Royal Oak’ or ‘Queens Head’.
The Royal Oak is the English oak tree within which King Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
In fact pub signs commemorate many important events and people throughout British history for example ‘The Duke of Wellington’ ‘The Shakespeare Inn’ and ‘The Battle of Britain’ to name but a few.

 

Pubs Galore
More info

The emblem of Rule Britannia
In History
  • 18 February 1871.
    On this day 148 years ago Harry Brearley was born
  • 06 February 1804.
    This month 215 years ago the world lost Joseph Priestley
  • 10 February 1912.
    This month 107 years ago the world lost Joseph Lister
  • CT Scan. 100 years ago 28 August 1919 Godfrey Hounsfield was born
  • 16 February 1834.
    This month 185 years ago the world lost Lionel Lukin
  • 05 February 1790.
    This month 229 years ago the world lost William Cullen
  • 21 February 1741.
    This month 277 years ago the world lost Jethro Tull
  • 19 February 1927.
    This month 91 years ago the world lost Herbert Akroyd Stuart
  • 08 February 2017.
    This month 2 years ago the world lost Peter Mansfield
  • 17 February 2011.
    This month 8 years ago the world lost Ron Hickman
  • 14 February 1779.
    This month 240 years ago the world lost Captain Cook
  • 26 February 1884.
    This month 134 years ago the world lost Alexander Wood
  • 23 February 1965.
    This month 53 years ago the world lost Stan Laurel
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