Pub Names – A

The Abercrombie Arms¹
Abercrombie Street
Named after James Abercrombie (1706-1781), British Army general and commander-in-chief of forces in North America during the French & Indian War. He later became a Member of Parliament and deputy governor of Stirling Castle.

The Abyssinia Arms¹
Marylebone Street
Named after HMS Abyssinia, a Royal Navy breastwork monitor launched in 1870, built for the defence of Bombay Harbour. She was broken up in 1903. The pub closed soon after.

The Adelaide Arms (also Adelaide Cellars)¹
Adelaide Street
Both pubs were located on the same street and were named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (1792-1849), Queen Consort of King William IV.

The Admiral Drake
Silverlock Close (Commercial Road)
Named in honour of Sir Francis Drake (1540-96) who is best remembered for his famous victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588.

The Air Balloon³
Flying Bull Lane (Commercial Road)
The name of this former pub commemorates the ascent of an air balloon that took place nearby.

The Albany³
Commercial Road
The word Albany derives from the poetic name for Britain, Albion. The name may also refer to Prince Leopold, the Duke of Albany (1853-1884), the fourth son of Queen Victoria.

The Albert Tavern¹
Hyde Park Road
Named to honour Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1819-61), Prince Consort to Queen Victoria.

The Alexandra³
Wingfield Street
Named after Alexandra of Denmark (1844-1925), queen consort of King Edward VII.

The Alfred Arms¹
Alfred Street
A short-lived pub, possibly just named after the street on which it stood, but also likely to be a reference to Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1844-1900), fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The Alma Arms³
Highland Road
The River Alma flows through the Crimea Peninsular, Ukraine and in 1854 was the site of the first battle won by the Allies over Russia.

The Alver Arms³
Guildford Road
This pub was located on the corner of Alver Road, the name deriving from Alverstoke, a district in the neighbouring town of Gosport.

The American²
White Hart Road
A patriotic name celebrating the independence of the American colonies in 1776. The pub once displayed a large painting of a soldier waving the ‘stars and stripes’ (see elsewhere on this site).

The Anchor & Hope¹
St George’s Square
The first part of this pub’s name needs little explanation – the anchor being synonymous with the navy and shipping in general, in a city that is home to the Royal Navy. The suffix derives from the words of St Paul (Hebrews 6:19) “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope…”

The Anerley Arms¹
Somers Road
Of uncertain origin, the name may derive from the district of South East London, near Bromley – and could possibly be the home town of the original licensee of the pub.

The Anglesey (also Anglesea)¹
Various locations
A reference to Henry William Paget (1768-1854), Marquess of Anglesey, English general who commanded the British cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo.

The Antelope¹
Grand Parade, Hanover Street and High Street
HMS Antelope is a name that has been given to numerous Royal Navy ships since the mid 16th century, the last of which was sunk during the Falklands War of 1982.

The Apsley House
Auckland Road West
Named in honour of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), who’s home, Apsley House, at Hyde Park Corner, was colloquially known as No.1 London. The painting on the exterior of the pub depicts an image of Apsley House, with the wording “No.1 Portsmouth” beneath.

The Arethusa & Circe¹
Broad Street
In Greek mythology, Arethusa was a sea nymph and daughter of Nereus. Circe was a goddess witch (or sorceress) who lived with her nymph attendants on the island of Aiaia.

The Artillery Arms
Various locations
The pub sign of the sole remaining Artillery Arms in Portsmouth depicts the coat of arms of the Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest and most senior regiment of the British Army, albeit made up of Territorial soldiers.

The Ashburton Arms³
Church Road
Likely named after Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton (1774-1848), Tory politician and President of the Board of Trade. He was a partner in his family firm Baring Brothers & Co, the company that later became Barings Bank and famously collapsed in 1995 due to suffering a $1.3bn loss caused by poor speculative investments.

The Auckland Arms
Netley Road
Named to honour George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland (1784-1849), Whig politician and colonial administrator. Three times First Lord of the Admiralty, he also served as Governor-General of India between 1836 and 1842. The inn sign depicts the Eden family coat of arms, with it’s slogan Si Sit Prudentia, “If there be prudence”.

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