Pub Names – S

The Sailor’s Farewell³
Bishop Street
A short-lived name for a pub previously called the Sailor’s Return (see below). Could the sailor in question have been the licensee’s son, with the name change referring to his subsequent departure? The pub became the King George V in 1913.

The Sailor’s Return¹
Various locations
An unsurprising pub name for Portsmouth, celebrating a seaman’s safe return home after a probable lengthy posting overseas. Inn signs would show a sailor being greeted by his wife (and may sometimes include an image of her lover hiding in the background!)

The St Albans¹
Broad Street
St Albans has been the name given to six ships of the Royal Navy since the year 1687. This pub was likely named after the fourth vessel to serve under that name, launched 1764. A 64-gun third rate ship of the line, she served in the American War of Independence from 1777 and was part of the fleet that captured St Lucia and won victories at Battle of St Kitts and The Saintes. She was converted to a floating battery in 1803 and was broken up in 1814.

The St Mary’s Arms¹
St Mary’s Road
Sited close to St Mary’s Church. Named after the Virgin Mary. The previous inn sign depicted the local church, whereas the last sign showed St Mary in a nun’s habit.

The St Thomas Arms¹
St Thomas Street
Stood on the street of the same name, close to what is now the Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, this name refers to Thomas Becket (c.1120-70) who was famously murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by knights loyal to King Henry II. He was soon after canonised by Pope Alexander III.

The Sallyport Inn³
High Street
The word Sallyport refers to an opening in a fortification from where defenders may make a ‘sally’ or rush toward the enemy. The defensive Hot Walls are located nearby, where a Sallyport can be found.

The Salutation
New Road³ and Cecil Place¹
The origins of the Salutation pub name derive from the Annunciation – the greeting and proclamation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary.

Scott’s Bar³
Eldon Street
Formerly the Elm Brewery Tap. Renamed in honour of John Scott, Lord Eldon (1751-1838), Lord High Chancellor of Britain. The building stands on Eldon Street.

The Sandwich Head¹
Sandwich Street
In honour of Admiral Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich (1625-72), English Infantry officer who later became a naval officer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1645 and 1660.

The Sawyers Arms¹
Lansdowne Street
This name relates to a saw mill that once existed in the vicinity.

The Schooner¹
Commercial Road
Named after a clipper schooner – a very fast sailing ship of the middle third of the 19th century, popular for transporting cargoes between Great Britain and her colonies. 

The Scotch Ale House¹
Highbury Street
Not a reference to Scotland, but more likely relating to the variety of beer sold within. Scotch Ale is a member of the pale ale variety of beers, originating in Scotland but also brewed south of the border, noted for its high alcoholic strength and predominantly rich, malty flavour. It was (and still is) a popular ale in the export market.

The Shaftesbury³
Kingston Road
Named after Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury (1801-1885), English politician and philanthropist.

The Shamrock Tavern¹
Cross Street
Located close to the dockyard gates, this tavern was known as the King’s Head until being renamed the Shamrock by licensee Edward McGinnis, most likely a proud Irishman who wished to make it known that sailors from the Emerald Isle were welcome in his establishment.

The Shakespeare’s Head¹
Bishop Street and Charles Street
An obvious reference to England’s most celebrated playwright, William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

The Shearer Arms
Shearer Road
Named in honour of landowner Bettesworth Pitt-Shearer, of Swanmore House, Droxford, formerly of the Isle of Wight. The former inn sign depicted a shepherd shearing one of his flock. Sadly the pub no longer displays a pictorial sign.

The Sheer Hulk¹
The Hard
The name given to a support vessel, effectively employed as a floating crane for the safe masting of ships. Sheer hulks were generally retired naval vessels that were still seaworthy enough to be converted to alternative use.

The Shepherd’s Crook
Goldsmith Avenue
The agricultural references in this pub name are obvious and the inn sign shows a crook entwined with hop flowers, barley and a sickle (referring to the ale on offer within). The name also has biblical references at some pubs, with Jesus being the shepherd in question.

The Ship & Castle
Rudmore Road¹, The Hard and Prince Frederick Street¹
Two pubs with this name can still be found trading in the city. The building on The Hard has a wall-painted inn sign which appears to show a ship sailing past Dover Castle.

The Ship Anson
The Hard
This pub name originally referred to HMS Anson, launched in 1781 and wrecked in Mount’s Bay, Cornwall in 1807. So far, seven Royal Naval vessels have been named Anson. These all honour George Anson, 1st Baron Anson (1697-1762), the British Admiral who circumnavigated the globe.

The Ship Antelope¹
Arundel Street
The name Antelope has been used for vessels of the Royal Navy since the mid 16th century. The ship after which this pub was named is likely to have been HMS Antelope, launched 1802 – a 50-gun fourth rate, used as a troopship from 1818 and placed on harbour service from 1824. She was broken up in 1845.

The Ship Leopard
The Hard³ and Havant Street¹
The Royal Navy has operated eleven vessels by the name of HMS Leopard. The first of these was launched in 1635 and the most recent example was scrapped in 1977. The painted sign on the wall of the pub on The Hard appeared to depict the sixth HMS Leopard engaging USS Chesapeake in 1807 whilst searching for Royal Navy deserters.

The Ship St Albans¹
Broad Street
see St Albans

The Ship Worcester¹
Broad Street
The name HMS Worcester has been given to a number of Royal Naval ships since the mid 17th century.

The Shipwright’s Arms
Edinburgh Road³ and other locations¹
The last of Portsmouth’s pubs bearing this name was located close to the dockyard’s Unicorn Gate (now Main Gate) and named in recognition of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights (founded 1605), the largest of the livery companies. The building still stands, with its name still prominent on the gable end.

The Shoveller’s Arms¹
East Street
This pub was located adjacent to the Camber Dock, where coal arrived to fuel Portsmouth’s vast power station on Gunwharf Road. The name may well derive from the men who unloaded the cargo from the ships. Also of note is that a gentleman by the name of James Shoveller lived close by the pub, on East Street, in 1802.

The Simpson Tavern¹
Simpson Road
Likely to have been named after General Sir James Simpson (1792-1868), veteran of the Peninsular War and the Waterloo Campaign and who served in Crimea as chief of staff to army commander Lord Raglan from 1855.

The Sir Charles Napier¹
Lake Road, Telegraph Street and East Street
Sir Charles Napier (1786-1860) was a prominent and successful Royal Navy officer with a career spanning sixty years. He was instrumental in the implementation of naval reform and was latterly a liberal Member of Parliament.

The Sir Hector¹
Lake Road and Conway Street
Possibly named after General Sir Hector Munro (1726-1805), British soldier and ninth commander-in-chief of India (1764-65). The 89th Regiment sailed from Portsmouth to the East Indies in 1760 and were placed under the command of the then Major Munro, who went on to secure a major victory at the Battle of Buxar in 1764.

The Sir Henry Storks¹
St Thomas Street
Named in honour of Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Knight Storks (1811-74), British soldier and colonial governor.

The Sir John Baker
London Road
Sir John Baker was a Liberal politician and Member of Parliament for Portsmouth twice between 1892 and his death in 1909. He served as Lord Mayor of Portsmouth in 1870 and 1875 and gained the nickname Honest John.

The Sir John Falstaff¹
Warblington Street
see Falstaff

The Sir Loin of Beef
Highland Road
A sirloin cut of beef comes from the upper section of the loin and the word sirloin derives from the French, where the prefix indicates ‘over’ or ‘above’. The popular tale that King James I was once said to have knighted a loin of beef is, sadly, not true, though this image did once appear on the wall of the pub.

The Sir Robert Peel¹
Astley Street
Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), Conservative politician and twice British Prime Minister. During his time as Home Secretary he was instrumental in the formation of the first modern police force, who’s recruits subsequently became known coloquially as Peelers and Bobbies.

The Slug & Lettuce
Palmerston Road and Gunwharf Quays
Part of a nationwide chain of pubs now owned by the Laurel Pub Company. The name is likely to have been dreamt up by the marketing staff at original owners, Grosvenor Inns. An older example of the name, found at a pub in Stratford-upon-Avon, has an inn sign depicting a cricketer slugging a ball through the pavillion window and into a bowl of lettuce.

The Sons of Neptune¹
Copenhagen Street
The Sons of Neptune was a group of colonial sailors directly associated with the Sons of Liberty before and during the American Revolution.

The Spice Island Inn
Bath Square
This pub name dates only from 1991 following the amalgamation of two adjacent taverns. The name derives from the alternative name for this part of Old Portsmouth, where spices were once unloaded from ships arriving from all parts of the British Empire.

The Sportsman’s Rest³
Copnor Road
A popular pub name throughout the country. The example at Copnor had an inn sign showing a gamesman resting beneath a tree whilst his dog looks on.

The Spotted Cow³
North End Avenue
The name of this pub may well derive from the fact that the original licensee Elizabeth Glaysher (who ran the previous pub on this site between 1838 and 1869) was a keeper of cows. The inn sign depicted a lone Holstein Friesian dairy cow.

The Spread Eagle¹
Arundel Street, St Mary’s Road and North Street
A possible reference to the Viscounts Montagu – once prolific landowners in areas of western Sussex.

The Stag
New Road and other locations¹
As well as an inn sign picturing a red deer stag, the last remaining Portsmouth pub with this name, located on New Road, also features a large statue of a buck at roof level.

The Stamford Arms¹
Stamford Street
Located on the street of the same name, this title refers to the Battle of Stamford Bridge of 1066 – fought between the English army under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada and the English king’s brother Tostig Godwinson.

The Standard
Edinburgh Road², White Horse Street¹ and Queen Street¹
see Royal Standard

The Star¹
Numerous locations
Originally a religious symbol, referring to the Star of Bethlehem. The coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of Innholders depicts a sixteen-pointed star.

The Star & Garter
Broad Street¹ and Copnor Road
A popular pub name, it refers to the Most Noble Order of the Garter – the highest order of knighthood in the UK.

The Still²
Bath Square
This name refers to the apparatus used in the production of alcoholic spirits.

The Still & West Country House
Bath Square
Originally a pub named the Still (see above), the marriage of the landlord’s daughter to a neighbour at the local East & West Country House saw the pub acquire its present day name.

The Stokers Arms¹
Havant Street
A reference to the men whose job it was to stoke and maintain a furnace, either aboard a steam ship, a railway locomotive or within a factory.

The Stormy Petrel¹
Flathouse Quay
Most likely named after the British Storm Petrel, a small seabird, Hydrobates pelagicus, native to the eastern Atlantic Ocean. The term stormy petrel is a term used to describe one who brings discord or appears at the onset of trouble.

The Strand Bar³
Clarendon Road
Formerly the Captain’s Table, the present name relates to the nearby Strand road junction, where Clarendon Road meets Waverley Road.

The Stratford¹
Warwick Street
A reference to the Warwickshire town of Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of England’s most celebrated playwright, William Shakespeare.

The Strop & Block¹
Ordnance Row and Russell Street
A strop relates either to a strip of leather or canvas, used for sharpening a knife, or a short length of rope whose ends are spliced together to make a ring. The wooden block is surrounded by the strop.

The Sultan¹
Various locations
Abdülaziz I, 32nd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1830-76), who visited Great Britain in 1867. The Royal Navy ship HMS Sultan was named in his honour in 1870.

The Sunderland Pink¹
East Street
The name of a pub on the Camber Dock in the 19th century. A pink was the name given to a type of ship used to transport coal (for the local power station) from the north of England.

The Surprise¹
Various locations
This name relates to a number of ships that have served in the Royal Navy.

The Surrey Arms
Surrey Street
The pub stands on Surrey Street, itself named after the county of the same name. The inn sign shows the Surrey coat of arms, with the blue and gold of the Earls of Surrey and the black taken from the Arms of the towns of Guildford and Godalming.

The Sutlej¹
Somers Road
This name refers to the River Sutlej, site of the First Sikh War in 1845-6. Three Royal Navy ships were subsequently named Sutlej, this pub being named after the first of these – a 50-gun fourth rate launched in 1855 and broken up in 1869.

The Swan¹
Various locations
Another popular pub name, swans have featured in royal coats of arms throughout the centuries. Swans on the River Thames are still considered to this day to be the property of the monarch.

The Sydney Arms¹
Sydney Place/Flathouse Road
A possible reference to Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney (1733-1800), a British politician who held several important Cabinet posts in the second half of the 18th century. He was MP for Whitchurch, Hampshire, for 29 years.

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