Home Culture History Going Down the Pub

Going Down the Pub


If you are a regular visitor to the magazine you will know that every now and then we feature what might be considered to be an unusual subject for a postage stamp. This brief article concerns what many people think is a very important British institution – the Public House, more commonly known as the pub.

Shown above is Royal Mail’s contribution to the 2003 Europa theme of Poster Art, showing rather typical Pub signs. The naming of inns/hostelries and pubs became common by the 12th century. As most of the British population could not read or write it became normal practice that these drinking houses would display a sign outside their premises. In 1393, King Richard II passed an act of law making it compulsory for these pubs and inns/hostelries to have a sign.

One of the stamps in the 1984 British mail coaches set above depicts one coach outside a London inn called “The Swan With Two Necks” and another by “The Angel”.

The Golden Cross.


And The Pheasant Inn.

The Swan With Two Necks also features on the 1994 definitives booklet series.

Pub signs also featured were The Bull and Mouth

Now, go and have a few drinks and try to repeat the phrase “I’m not a pheasant plucker or a pheasant plucker’s son, I’m only plucking pheasants till the pheasant plucker comes”.


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