The Nag’s Head¹
The Hard, Commercial Road and Hanover Street
Inn signs of pubs with this name originally indicated to passers-by that a horse may be had for hire.
The Napier Arms¹
Surrey Street and Fyning Street
see Sir Charles Napier
The Naval & Military Arms¹
St Mary’s Street and Lion Street
This name refers to the Royal Marines.
Isambard Brunel Road
Possibly a reference to the navvys who would have built the abandoned Portsmouth and Arundel Canal, whose course ran nearby. The term navvy is also associated with labourers who constructed the railways, of which Portsmouth’s runs partially along the former canal bed. The inn sign appears to have depicted a stove pipe hatted gent, most likely a representation of Isambard Brunel.
The Nell Gwynne
This name recalls Nell Gwynne, the 17th century English actress, orange seller and mistress of King Charles II.
The Nelson Tavern³ (also Nelson’s Arms¹)
Named in honour of Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, KC (1758-1805), flag officer in the Royal Navy and victor at many significant sea battles, famously killed at the Battle of Trafalgar. His ship HMS Victory remains a serving vessel at its home in Portsmouth naval dockyard.
The Neptune & Mars¹
Neptune was the Roman god of sea – a significant reference in Portsmouth, home of the Royal Navy. Mars was the Roman god of war – so also a reference to the senior service.
The New Roebuck³
From the male of the species of Roe deer, the Roebuck. New is likely to have been included in the pub’s name as the house stands on New Road.
Stood at the junction of Newcastle Street, the pub’s name is of uncertain origin. Likely either a reference to the important northern city or to one of the Royal Navy’s vessels named HMS Newcastle – the first of which to see service being launched in 1653.
The Newcome Arms
Of uncertain origin. The pub’s inn sign used to depict a coat of arms depicting a large bird perched on a crenelated wall, though whether this is a genuine family crest is uncertain. The pub’s name (and the name of the street) may refer to Peter Newcome (1715-79), English educator and Fellow of the Royal Society.
The Noah’s Ark¹
St Vincent Street
An inn sign depicting the ark would have been an easily recognised image to people as far back as the middle ages. The ark also appears on the coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.
The Norfolk Arms¹
Commercial Road and Queen Street
Named in honour of the Dukes of Norfolk, the Earls of Arundel, the premier duke in the peerage of England.
The North Country Pink¹
The term ‘pink’ was the name given to a small, flat-bottomed sailing ship with a narrow stern, deriving from the Dutch word pincke. They had a large cargo capacity, and were generally square rigged.
The North Star¹
Named after Polaris, or pole star, used for centuries by sailors for celestial navigation. Elsewhere, pubs with this name often refer to the Star class locomotive North Star, built by George Stevenson for the Great Western Railway.
The Northcote Hotel
Named after James Northcote (1746-1831), the English artist who lived in Portsmouth for a short time in 1776, during which time he produced many paintings of local families, for a price of five guineas per head. The pub sign depicts the Northcote coat of arms.