What's In A Fuller's Pub Name

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When it comes to creative pub names, we’re proud to have a fair few of them at Fuller’s. Unsurprising, given many of our pubs are steeped in history, some dating back as far as the 16th century but much thought and consideration is put into the newer pubs at Fuller’s too.

If you’re interested in the reason why your local is called what it is, there is no better place to research its name than in the brilliant new book ‘What’s in a London Pub Name’ by James Potts and Sam Cullen who have explored that very subject.

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The authors have conducted a forensic search to pick out pubs names and their meanings, to collate a list that not only proves insightful and inspiring but also, through the names, documents some of the many aspects of London’s social history.  

Co-Author, Sam Cullen says: "There are over 50 Fuller's Pubs featured in our book and what really stands out is the huge variety across the venues featured, all of which touch upon so many elements of London’s social, cultural and political history.  

So you’ve got the Mad Hatter by Waterloo, which pays tribute to the fact the building once housed a hat factory called Tress and Co, through to the Sun and 13 Cantons in Soho, reflecting the large Swiss expat community living in the area when the pub first opened. A Fullers pub is even our cover star, One Over The Ait at Kew Bridge.

Not only does the image look great but to us it has the perfect characteristics of a great pub name, both the local link with Ait referencing the island opposite the pub and then the witty play on words for the old saying One Over The Eight, meaning drunk!"


Curious to know why your local has the name it does? Look no further …

The Anglers, Teddington 

The Anglers owes its name to the fact the spot on the Thames has been particularly popular with Fishermen over the years. Talking of fish, it’s also right by where the famous Monty Python fish slapping dance skit was filmed, with Micheal Palin ending up in Teddington lock after a very firm hit with a huge fish from John Cleese! 

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The Cabbage Patch, Twickenham  

The vegetable-based name comes from the fact that the land that Rugby Stadium was built on what previously used as allotments with cabbages being the staple product, so Cabbage Patch became one of the ground’s affectionate nicknames and, in turn, the name of this pub too 

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The Hercules, Lambeth  

This pub is a short walk from the site of Astley’s Amphitheater, with Astley thought of as the father of modern circus. As a result, The Hercules was chosen in homage to the famous circus strongman of the same name.  

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The Jack Horner, Tottenham Court Road  

Being one of our famous Ale & Pie houses, this pub is named after the boy in the old nursery rhyme who ate his Christmas pie in the corner and was chuffed when he found a plum in it.  

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Shaws Booksellers, EC4  

Before becoming a pub in 1997 this building housed a paper mill and was particularly well located to serve what was once the heart of Britain's newspaper industry, Fleet Street. The building was micked up as a book shop for the 1997 film Wings of a Dove, called Shaw’s Booksellers and the name stuck ever since.  

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The Sun & 13 Cantons, Soho  

This name has its origins in the pub’s association with the Swiss watch-making community that worked in the area in the late 19th century. After the original sun pub was rebuilt in 1882 after the fire, the ‘and 13 cantons’ was added as a tribute to the Swiss workers in the area. There were 12 cantons (the Swiss version of county) in Switzerland at the time, so this expat community in Soho got affectionately named the 13th canton.  

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The Tokenhouse, Moorgate  

Named after a nearby building from the 17th century which distributed legal tender in exchange for tokens, once the individual had amassed enough, they were used by traders as copper coins rarely issued by the government at the time.

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Ye Olde Mitre, Holborn  

A mitre is a type of head-wear worn by religious figures such as bishops. The Connection here is that Ely Court, where the pub can be found, used to be the London residence of the Bishop of Ely.

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These are just a few of our favourite stories about Fuller's pub names. If you're interested in finding out more, you can purchase your own copy.

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