THE ORIGIN OF THE PUB SIGNS
In 1393 King Richard II decreed that pubs
must have signs so that the examiner or
tester of ales would know the location of
The pictorial sign was developed in the times when the vast majority of the population were illiterate and needed something large, simple and bright to recognise.
TOWN OF RAMSGATE
Town of Ramsgate, known originally as the Red Cow after a rather bad-tempered red-head barmaid. The Town of Ramsgate came from the Kentish fishermen who landed their fish next door at Wapping Old Stairs. From the balcony at low tide you can still see the post where pirates were executed at Execution Dock. One famous pirate to die there was Captain Kidd, in 1701. As a superstar of the day he pulled a big crowd, among them an ex-lover. Kidd growled: "I have lain with that bitch three times, now she comes to see me hanged." The badly rusted harness was only discovered in the mud this century. During the eighteenth century, the cellars of the pub were used as dungeons for convicts awaiting transportation to America and Australia. There is also a pub nearby called 'The Captain Kidd' after the famous execution.
Reproduced by kind permission of Knowledge of London.