Photos: Pub Signs in London

Okay. I admit it. I took a ton of photos during our trip to London this summer. I just couldn't help it. It seemed that around every corner was a perfect photo opportunity just waiting to happen - and for me to capture on my iPhone. While I was enamored with the palaces, museums, street art and Londoners in general, I seemed to be overwhelmingly captivated by the signs that hung above the many pubs (or public houses) that line the city's streets.

The pub signs trace their origin to a royal proclamation from King Richard II in 1393, making the alehouses easily visible to passerbys, and at that time, passing inspectors. The graphic signs also made it easy for a large portion of the population in the Middle Ages to identify it as a public house - without being able to read the sign itself.

Many pub names - and their signs - commemorate or pay homage to the alcohol brewing process, plants and animals, occupations, historic events, literature, myths and legends, royalty, former landlords or landladies, modes of transportation and sports, among other noteworthy items. Of course, some signs tend to be a bit cheeky too - this is London after all and I am glad that no pun is off limits.

The photo gallery below features some of my favorite pub signs captured during our walks throughout London's amazing streets.

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