The Stories Behind Some of London's Unusual Pub Names:

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How many times have you walked around the city of London and looked at the signs that adorn the many public houses? There are some that have names that immediately make sense, such as the Queen’s Head or the Red Lion, but there are some whose names are more obscure and seem far too random to be something to do with the place in which they are located.

The Essex Serpent (Covent Garden)
Serpents are not something that you would generally associate with Essex, yet this pub name dates back to 1669 when there was a pamphlet published which detailed witness accounts of a monstrous and vile serpent, which had been seen not far from Saffron Walden in a village known as Henham on the Mount. Whether this refers to an actual creature is doubtful, but there was at the time a man named Winstanley who did create a serpent of sorts from canvas and wood as a practical joke, but whether this was before or after the sightings is unknown.

London's Unusual Pub Names:
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The Widow’s Son (E3)
The story behind this pub name is one of sadness and loss. The building that houses the pub was at one time a cottage, owned by a woman whose son was a sailor. He was due to return home after his voyage on Good Friday and in honour of his return the mother made a batch of hot cross buns. The son never returned home. The hot cross bun tradition still continues however, and you can see them hanging inside the pub an unappetising and sad memento of a mother’s loss. Each year on Good Friday, a sailor from the Royal Navy will add to the collection of buns that hangs there, in memory of the many sons that have been lost to their mothers over the centuries.

The King of Corsica (Soho)
This pub takes its name from a forgotten Frenchman, a certain Theodor von Neuhoff. During the struggle for Corsican independence from Genoa in the middle of the eighteenth century, Von Neuhoff was declared King of Corsica, if for only a brief time. Due to a change in circumstances he was forced to seek asylum in London where he died a pauper’s death. His funeral and gravestone were paid for by several well wishers including Horace Walpole who also penned his epitaph. This little known King of Corsica is interred within the grounds of St Anne’s Church in London’s Soho district.

The Prospect of Whitby (Wapping)
Whitby is located in North Yorkshire so why there would be a pub in London referring to it is at first glance a little odd. This is an old building, part of it dates back as far as 1520 when it was known by the name of The Devils Tavern. The name was changed in the eighteenth century, it was named after the coal barge that was regularly moored by the building. The barge was called the Prospect and was registered out of the port of Whitby.

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Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:
This article is posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of myfoodforu blog He is a blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on  the different topics related to humanity,

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