Pub Names – W

Walkabout³
Guildhall Walk
A modern name given to a chain of Australian theme pubs by owners Regent Inns. The term walkabout derives from the belief that Aboriginal Australians head off alone into the outback for a prolonged period as a rite of passage at the age of thirteen.

The Warrior Arms¹
St John’s Road, St Mary’s Street and Cumberland Road
Named in honour of the Royal Navy’s first iron-clad warship, HMS Warrior, built in Deptford in 1860 and now preserved at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.

The Watchmakers Arms¹
Gunner Street
A number of clock and watchmakers could be found in the Lake Road area of the city, close to where this pub once stood.

The Waterloo Inn³
Commercial Road (later Guildhall Walk)
Named in honour of those who fought under the Duke of Wellington at the decisive Battle of Waterloo of 1815.

The Waterman’s Arms¹
The Hard
Named after the many hundreds of men who once earned their living working on or with boats in Portsmouth Harbour.

The Wave Maiden
Osborne Road
The wave maidens are the nine daughters of Ægir, a sea giant, god of the ocean and king of the sea creatures in Norse mythology.

The Waverley Arms³
Clarendon Road
Located close to Waverley Road, named after the 1814 historical novel by Sir Walter Scott.

The Wellington
High Street, Hyde Park Road and Russell Street
Named in honour of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), victor at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and twice Prime Minister of Britain. The pub’s sign pictures the Duke’s boot, hat and telescope.

The Welsh Harp¹
Railway View
Often a name used to indicate to the public that the licensee has a connection to Wales. This may have been welcome to Welsh sailors based in Portsmouth.

The Wheelbarrow³
Kent Road
The name reputedly derives from a story relating to a former garrison commader of Southsea Castle, who was known to be a heavy drinker and would be transported home each night in a wheelbarrow. A wooden barrow once stood above the parapet at first floor level.

The Wheelwrights Arms¹
Stamshaw Road
The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, dating from 1670. Wheelwrights would have been numerous in Portsmouth and all parts of the country in bygone years, when horse-drawn travel was the norm.

When Shall We Three Meet Again¹
Charles Street
The opening line of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, referring to the three witches in the play.

The White Bear¹
Cottage View and Queen Street
A probable reference to the White Bear, the galleon built in 1563 which formed part of the squadron of ships that attacked Cadiz in 1587, under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Francis Drake.

The White Ensign¹
Queen Street
The white ensign is the flag of the Royal Navy – flown on all vessels and at shore bases. It is also flown by the Royal Yacht Squadron and Trinity House ships when escorting the reigning monarch.

The White Gate¹
Havant Street
Located close to the Main Gate of the naval dockyard, with its distinctive white Portland stone pillars.

The White Hart
Kingston Cross³ and other locations¹
A vey common pub name – the heraldic symbol of King Richard II. The name has since become a generic term for a tavern and the familiar inn sign was a valuable indicator to the many illiterate folk of bygone years.

The White Horse
Southsea Terrace³ and other locations¹
The white horse features prominently in the arms of several guilds and was also adopted as a symbol by the Kings of Wessex.

The White House
Ernest Road³ and Eastney Road¹
Of uncertain origin. Possibly a reference to the White House, the official residence of the president of the United States of America. The Eastney Road pub once displayed an inn sign with curious imagery, depicting a gent in distinctive, but unidentified attire, stood in front of a gated white building with the emblem of a red glove prominent on the façade (see Lost Pubs – W). 

The White Lion¹
Commercial Road
Most likely named in honour of King Edward IV (1442-1483), who’s heraldic arms depict a white lion, as do that of the Earls of March and the Duke of Norfolk.

The White Swan
Guildhall Walk and numerous other locations¹
As with the Swan. These birds have appeared on many royal coats of arms over the centuries and are closely associated with royalty to this day.

Who’d A Thought It¹
Surrey Street
This name crops up in many places and traditionally refers to the unexpected granting of a liquor licence to the original landlord. In rural areas, it may also derive from the surprise of travellers happening upon an unexpected tavern.

The Wig & Pen³
Landport Terrace
Originally the Balmoral. This pub was renamed in recognition of the abundance of solicitors’ practices on nearby Hampshire Terrace and Landport Terrace.

The William the Conqueror¹
Silver Street
William I, Duke of Normandy (c.1028-1087), best known as William the Conqueror (AKA William the Bastard), first Norman king of England.

The Wiltshire Lamb²
Hampshire Terrace
The Wiltshire Horn is a breed of domestic sheep originally from Wiltshire and raised for meat.

The Winchester Arms
Winchester Road
The pub and the street on which it stands take their name from Winchester College – the prestigious school located in the County Town of Hampshire – ancient capital of Wessex.

The Windmill & Sawyer¹
Copenhagen Street
Most likely a reference to a wind-driven sawmill (and it’s operative) used for the milling of timbers needed for the construction of shipping in the naval dockyard, located across the road from where the pub once stood.

The Wingfield Arms¹
Church Street
Named in honour of Edward Wingfield, 2nd Viscount Powerscourt (1729-1764), Irish politician and member of parliament for Whitchurch, Hampshire.

The Wolfe’s Head¹
Wolfes Court
Named after Major General James Wolfe (1727-1759), British officer, known chiefly for his victory over the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, Canada in 1759.

The Wycombe Arms¹
Hertford Street
In honour of William Wickham (AKA Wykeham) (1539-95), Bishop of Winchester.

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