Pub Names – R

The Racquet Court Tavern¹
King William Place
Racquets was a popular sport among the gentry throughout the 19th century and courts for the sport became popular at many notable public schools. This pub’s name is probably an indicator that there was a racquet court nearby.

The Radnor Arms¹
St James’s Road
This pub name is found in many places across the UK and acknowledges the Earls of Radnor, whose family seat has been Longford Castle, Wiltshire, since 1717.

The Raglan¹
Raglan Street
see Lord Raglan

The Railway Carriers¹
Greetham Street
This name refers to the carriers, hauliers and store keepers that transported cargoes to and from the nearby goods yard at Portsmouth and Southsea railway sidings.

The Railway Cellars¹
Greetham Street
Another reference to the railway that ran alongside Greetham Street, between Portsmouth and Southsea station and Blackfriars junction.

The Rainbow¹
St George’s Square
This name has been used for taverns since the 17th century. The image of a rainbow on an inn sign would likely be an attraction to passers-by and the pub name a welcoming one.

The Ranelagh¹
Besant Road
A reference to Ranelagh Gardens, the 17th century pleasure gardens built by Sir Roger Jones, 1st Earl of Ranelagh, in Chelsea, London, on land adjacent to the Royal Hospital.

The Raven
Bedford Street
Ravens are the subject of much folklore and superstition. The inn sign depicts a bird perched at the Tower of London, where it is believed that the castle shall be destroyed if the resident birds ever leave.

The Red House¹
Fratton Road, Cumberland Street and Church Road
This name relates to the Red House Estate that once existed in Portsmouth.

The Red Lion
Numerous locations
Britain’s most common pub name, originally relating to John of Gaunt. The heraldic symbol of a red lion has Scottish origins and it was decreed by King James I (James VI of Scotland) on his accession that an heraldic red lion should be displayed in public places.

The Red White & Blue
Fawcett Road
A patriotic name, showing the Union flag on the inn sign, together with a ship.

The Registry²
St Michael’s Road
A pub conversion of the late 1990s, housed in the former Portsmouth Registry Office. The building has been been converted to student accommodation.

The Rising Sun¹
Various locations
This common pub name has its origins in the heraldic arms of Kings Edward III and Richard III – and since used by various landed families.

The Robin Hood [and Little John]¹
Commercial Road [and West Street]
Relating to the legendary outlaw [and his merrie men] of medieval England, who robbed the rich to help the poor, from his base in Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Forest.

The Rodney / Rodney’s Head¹
Spring Street and St Nicholas Street
In honour of Admiral George Brydges, 1st Baron Rodney (1718-92), British naval commander, notable for his victory over the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782.

The Roebuck¹
Various locations
see New Roebuck

The Ropemakers’ Delight¹
Oxford Street
Ropemaking was an essential and skilled occupation within the environs of Portsmouth’s naval dockyard. The 18th century ropery is one of many listed buildings within the present naval base and is the longest structure at over 1000ft. The ‘ropemakers’ delight’ refers to the pub that the hard-working men would retire to after a long day of toil.

The Rose & Crown¹
Various locations
A name proclaiming loyalty to both England and the Monarch.

The Rose In June
Milton Road, Hampton Street and Fyning Street
Another patriotic pub name, referring to the English Rose, or even the Hampshire Rose – the official county emblem. The rose is the most popular flower mentioned in pub names.

The Rose of Denmark¹
Cecil Place
Referring to Alexandra, Princess of Wales (1844-1925), Queen Consort of King Edward VII. A Dane by birth whose favourite flower was known to be the wild rose, the Princess founded Alexandra Rose Day in 1912 to mark her fiftieth year of residence in the UK.

The Rowbarge¹
The Hard
A barge propelled by oarsmen, used for transporting goods, but also as a mean of conveying royalty on state occasions.

The Royal
Commercial Road
Previously the New Inn, the pub’s name recalls the existence of the Royal Hospital, which was located directly opposite the pub on Commercial Road. The inn sign shows the hospital’s distinctive entrance gate.

The Royal Albert
Kings Road¹ and Albert Road
Most likely named after HMS Royal Albert, the 131-gun screw steamer launched at Woolwich in 1854. The inn sign shows a steam ship in sail.

The Royal Alfred¹
Kings Road¹ and Albert Road
In honour of Alfred Ernest Albert (1844-1900), Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha – and Duke of Edinburgh. He was the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The Royal Buffalo¹
Cross Street
This name would have referred to the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) – one of the largest fraternal organisations in the United Kingdom. The order started in 1822 and is known as the Buffs to members.

The Royal Dragoon¹
Kingston Crescent
A military reference, named for the Royal Dragoon Guards – the mounted infantry and later heavy cavalry regiment of the British Army, since amalgamated with the Royal Horse Guards to form The Blues and Royals.

The Royal Engineers¹
Kent Street and Prospect Road
Named in honour of the British Army’s Corp of Royal Engineers, founded 1716 and responsible for much of the expansion of the Royal Navy’s dockyards, including Portsmouth, located a stone’s throw from where this pub once stood, on Prospect Road.

The Royal Exchange
Fawcett Road³ and Commercial Road¹
There are various derivations of this particular pub name, though most are believed to refer to the financial institution in the City of London. The sign of the pub in Southsea depicts a monetary transaction being paid by a commoner to a member of the gentry.

The Royal Mail¹
St Thomas Street
This long-lost pub was named after the horse-drawn Royal Mail coaches that operated from the nearby High Street.

The Royal Marine(s) Artillery Tavern
Cromwell Road
The pub stands opposite the entrance to what was, until recently, the Eastney Barracks of the Royal Marines.

The Royal Oak¹
Numerous locations
Britain’s second most popular pub name – famously referring to King Charles II and his aide Colonel Carless hiding from noon ’til dusk in the Boscobel Oak near Shifnal, Shropshire, to escape the persuing Roundheads.

The Royal Sovereign¹
Charlotte Street
HMS Royal Sovereign is a name given to seven Royal Navy vessels since the year 1701 – the last being a Revenge class battleship launched in 1915 and later transferred to the Soviet Navy in 1944.

The Royal Stag¹
Gold Street
The definition of an adult male deer with antlers comprising twelve or more branches – a term rarely used in modern-day English.

The Royal Standard
Various locations
A popular pub name, referring to the flag used by the monarch and members of the royal family.

The Royal Swan¹
Green Row
A reference to Mute Swans living in open water within the United Kingdom, all of which are recognised to be the property of the Monarch.

The Rutland Arms
Francis Avenue
The inn sign depicts the coat of arms of the Dukes of Rutland – members of the Manners family (Manners Road is located nearby) and also holders of the title of Marquis of Granby.

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