Pub Names – B

The Baffins
Tangier Road
Takes its name from the adjacent Baffins Pond, which also gives its name to this particular area of Portsmouth.

The Balmoral Tavern³
Landport Terrace
Named after Balmoral Castle, the Scottish Baronial style estate house in Aberdeenshire, purchased by Prince Albert for his wife Queen Victoria in 1852 and soonafter expanded by the monarch to its present-day size.

The Baltic Tavern¹
Thomas Street
Yet another pub with a naval theme. The Baltic refers to both the Baltic Sea and the Baltic Exchange (founded 1744) – the organisation encompassing many hundreds of companies worldwide that oversees the interests of the maritime community and the cargo it transports.

The Barley Mow
Castle Road
A very common pub name, the word ‘mow’ relates to a stack – with barley being one of the main ingredients of beer. The pub sign was therefore a good indicator to the illiterate population in bygone years that ale was on offer within.

The Barleycorn¹
Commercial Road, Conway Street and Great Southsea Street
Referring to the cereal crop commonly used to make ale and whisky – often personified as John Barleycorn in English folklore – a character derived from Anglo Saxon paganism.

The Battle & Breeze³
Liongate Road, later Edinburgh Road
Referring to an old naval term. In 1869 R M Ballantyne published his adventure novel The Battle and the Breeze, though the pub’s name predates this book.

The Battle of Minden³
St Mary’s Road
Reputedly the only pub in the UK to have this name, the Battle of Minden was fought in 1759 by a Prussian-Hanovarian-British army led by Prince Ferdinand, who defeated a French force under the Marquis de Contades.

The Battle of the Nile Inn¹
Nile Street
Along with the street on which it stood, named after Rear Admiral Nelson’s decisive naval victory over the French, off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast in 1798.

The Bear & Staff¹
North Street
A reference to the heraldic sign of Richard Nevil, Earl of Warwick (1428-71), known as the King-maker and immortalised in Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part Two. According to legend, the first earl was said to have had slew a bear and strangled it. The Bear & Staff has since become the symbol of the county of Warwickshire.

The Bedford In Chase¹
The Hard
Most likely a reference to HMS Bedford, a 74-gun ‘third rate’ Royal Navy ship-of-the-line, launched in 1775. She saw extensive use over a forty year period and was eventually decommissioned in Portsmouth in 1816, being broken up the following year.

The Beehive¹
Various locations
A beehive has long been a symbol of industry and hard-working.

The Belgrave Tavern³
Albert Road
Most likely named after Viscount Belgrave, a subsidiary title of the Duke of Westminster. The title derived from the Cheshire village of Belgrave – near where the family’s main country seat can be found.

The Bellerophon¹
Lake Road
A series of Royal Navy vessels, named after a character in Greek mythology – a slayer of monsters. The pub was named in honour of the first HMS Bellerophon, a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line, launched in 1786. A veteran of the Battle of the Nile and Battle of Trafalgar, the ship was the venue of Napoleon’s surrender in 1815. Bellerophon ended her service as a prison ship, finally being retired in 1834 and broken up two years later.

The Benbow¹
Clock Street
Admiral John Benbow (1650-1702) was fatally wounded following a battle with the French in the Caribbean Sea. His body lies in Kingston, Jamaica and he has since become the subject of a popular drinking song.

The Beresford³
Twyford Avenue
Likely to be named in honour of Charles William de la Pour Beresford, 1st Baron Beresford (1846-1919), Rear Admiral to the Navy and Conservative politician.

The Binsteed Arms³
Binsteed Road
Named after the Binsteed (or Binstead) family – a name once prevalent in the Hampshire area.

The Black Dog¹
Arundel Street
There are various explanations regarding this pub name, which differs around Britian. The most likely in this instance would be that the slang term ‘black dog’ referred to a counterfeit shilling. Another possibility comes from the nickname of Guy Beauchamp, the Earl of Warwick, who was known as the Black Dog of Arden.

The Black Prince¹
Middle Street and Upper Arundel Street
The Webmaster recalls this pub’s inn sign (on Middle Street) depicting a black skinned ‘prince’, though the origins of this pub name tend to relate to Edward, Prince of Wales (1330-1376), known as the Black Prince due to the colour of his armour. Another likely reason for this pub name being used in Portsmouth is that the Royal Navy has operated a number of warships named the Black Prince since the mid 17th century.

The Blackfriars Tavern¹
Blackfriars Road
Located on the street of the same name, the Black Friars were Dominican monks, so called for the colour of their robes and reputed to be heavy drinkers.

The Blacksmiths Arms¹
Numerous locations
Blacksmiths were important members of the community in bygone years, as they made the tools in peacetime and weapons in wartime, hence this is a very popular name for pubs. Some hostelries with this name would also have been called such due to the proximity of such an establishment, or an indication that the licensee was himself once a blacksmith.

The Blockmakers¹
Central Street
In some towns, this name will refer to the makers of head blocks – the wooden ‘moulds’ used by milliners to produce hats. In Portsmouth, however, this name relates to nautical (sailing) blocks – a single or multiple pulley, through which ropes are passed and used, for example, for the raising and lowering of sails.

The Blue Anchor
Numerous locations
A very common pub name, especially in coastal towns and villages. The inn sign would be an obvious visual aid to sailors in bygone years.

The Blue Lion¹
Queen Street
Relating to the coat of arms of the House of Denmark, in particular to that of Queen Anne (1574-1619), wife of James I and mother of Charles I.

The Blue Posts¹
Pemboke Road and Broad Street
This name generally refers simply to an architectural feature either side of the entrance door(s) to the pub itself. In Portsmouth there remains a pub called the Green Posts.

The Boatswain & Call¹
Frederick Street
This name relates to the shrill piping that heralds the arrival of the commanding officer or an important guest aboard a Royal Navy vessel. A boatswain was originally the officer in charge of a ship’s sails and rigging.

The Bold Forester
Albert Road
Timbers from the New Forest were used in the construction of naval warships. Vice Admiral Lord Nelson’s vessel Agamemnon was built on the Beaulieu River in 1781 before being towed to Portsmouth.

The Brewery Tap¹
Various locations
A generic term used for a public house that has a brewery attached to it. This may either be a physical attachment or a reference to the fact that the tavern acts as the primary outlet for beer produced by a brewery to which the pub is tied.

The Brewhouse¹
Queen Street
This pub stood close to Brickwood’s Brewery, owner of the house before it was acquired by Whitbread. Before its closure, the pub also traded for a short time as the Rising Sun, which also happened to be Brickwood’s logo.

The Bridge Tavern
East Street, Broad Street and Somers Road
The inn sign of the pub which stands on the Camber Dock depicts an iron lifting bridge which once spanned the water.
Also, the former Bridge Tavern on Somers Road – named after Turner’s Bridge which stood adjacent to the pub, spanning the abandoned Portsmouth & Arundel Canal. Today, the pub is no more, however a bridge remains, crossing the railway lines.

The Britannia¹
Somers Road, Seymour Street and York Place
Referring to the Roman name for Britain and its female personification, first mentioned in print by Samuel Pepys and referring to the design of a medal, struck in 1665. The word is now a widely recognised patriotic term.

The British Flag³
Kassassin Street
A patriotic title, referring to the Union Flag of the United Kingdom.

The British Queen¹
Queens Road and Hyde Park Road
Named after Queen Victoria (1819-1901), who’s portrait appears at first floor level above the pub’s entrance.

The Brougham Tavern¹
Brougham Road
The word brougham refers to a one-horse closed carriage, named after Baron Brougham of Vaux (1778-1868).

The Brown Jug¹
Havant Street
Likely to be a simple reference to the vessel used to carry beer from the pub, the hostelry in Portsmouth pre-dated the now-traditional drinking song, Little Brown Jug, penned in 1869 by Joseph Winner.

The Brunswick¹
Various locations
Pubs with this name located in the south east tend to refer to Caroline of Brunswick (1768-1821), Queen Consort of George IV. She gained popular support from the public at large during an adultery trial in 1795, which was abandoned by the House of Lords the following year. The Brunswick name may also refer to Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick (1771-1815), killed at Quatre Bras whilst fighting for the British, two days before the Battle of Waterloo.

The Buckingham Arms (also Buckingham Head)¹
Crasswell Street and Buckingham Street
see Duke of Buckingham

The Bugle¹
Kent Street and York Place
A bugle was the name given to a wild ox – its horns were once used as a drinking vessel and also as a hunting horn. The name also sometimes relates to a post horn.

The Bull’s Head¹
Various locations
A bull’s head was introduced to the coat of arms of King Henry VIII after he defied the papal bull (the leaden seal attached to the pope’s edicts) in 1538.

The Byron Arms³
Chichester Road
On the corner of Byron Road. Named after romantic poet George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824).

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