Public House

  • This page: Built Environment: Public House feature
  • Status: Complete 90% -[examples to add]
  • First published: 01 November 2018 onwards
Feature: Public House

An image gallery of public houses [Source: Flickr - can be viewed at full screen]

Public House: - a description

Descriptive name

A public house, or a "pub", is an establishment licensed to sell alcoholic drinks [traditionally beer and cider]:

  • The term applies largely to England though similar establishments exist in Ireland and Australia.
  • Since the 1990's the economic basis for a pub had shifted from the sale of beer the provision of meals.
  • Since the year 2000 the number of pubs closing permanently each year has risen.

Distinctive Name

Some examples of a public house names:

  • Red Lion - widely adopted
  • The White Hart - widely adopted
  • Kings Head - widely adopted

Some names have been adopted from the local environment. Others followed events - such as "The Red Lion" which is reported to be associated with an edict by James I & IV of Scotland in 1603.


Today the distinction between the following establishments has been blurred [largely via marketing and rebranding of venues].

  • Tavern
  • Inn [would normally include accommodation]
  • Beerhouse
  • Bar
  • Drinking House

Public House: Publication Examples

A selection of maps and documents below demonstrating how a public house can be recorded:

Public House, Middleton

sitetype missing

Source: 1909 OS Lancs. XCVI-8 1:2500 map.

Old Boar's Head, Long Street, Middleton

The public house is thought to have been built in 1622. It is a Grade II listed building and claims to be the oldest public house in England.

It is situated on the main road from Manchester to Rochdale and beyond to West Yorkshire

Old Boar's Head history & room plans


Last Updated:08 Apr 2018
KJM v2.03

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10 May 2019