The history of pub signs

Most people recognize, with a smile, the beautifully-carved, and imaginatively-named pub signs that grace the English landscape, but few realize that the signs date back to the Romans. The Inn Sign Society offers a history of pub signs, along with some nice examples, on its website.

The history follows the development of inn signs from a Roman evergreen branch (symbolizing Bacchus), to the priory hostels of the Middle Ages, to the advent of railroads, whose taverns had their own special signs.