Archive for December 12th, 2010

History of English Pubs

This is a subject very close to my heart and it saddens me that over 50

Traditional British Pub
Traditional British Pub

pubs per week are currently closing?  I encorage all Brits to visit your local pub at least once a week – not for half a pint but a few drinks and someting to eat.  If you are visiting England please take the time to visit a tradtional English Pub or three. Our tour guides will always recommend a local tavern should you need some guidance.

The English pub, or public house, is an institution in British community life as a place to imbibe, eat and converse with neighbors dating back nearly 2,000 years to the time of the Roman colonization of the British Isles.


  • While the inhabitants of Great Britain are known to have drank ale since the Bronze Age, the English pub stems from Roman colonizers that built places where travelers could get food, wine and rest along the roads of Great Britain.
  • Post-Roman Pubs

  • When the Romans left England they took the early public houses, or tabernae, with them. Still, a love for ale kept locals brewing and selling their own spirits in unsanctioned alehouses.

    Increased Popularity and Regulation

  • By the 10th century so many alehouses had popped up throughout the country that King Edgar the Peaceful created a law in 965 A.D. that only one alehouse be allowed per village
  • Pubs in the Middle Ages

  • The Middle Ages saw an increase in population and subsequent industry that polluted many of Britains waterways. The alehouse grew still more in popularity as Britains looked to ale as a safe source of drinking water.

    Modern Pubs

  • The term “pub” originated in Victorian-era England as a shortening of “public house.” There are currently more than 50,000 pubs throughout England.
    History of the pub Alcohol has been drunk and served throughout the British Isles in one form or another since the Bronze Age. However, the origins of what we may now recognise as the pub began to appear during the Roman colonisation of Britain, as places where travellers could obtain rest and refreshment sprang up along the new road networks.

    These Roman taverns remained even after the withdrawal of the Romans from Britain. During the Middle Ages the pub sign came into existence – the earliest versions being green bushes set upon poles to indicate the sale of beer, stemming from the earlier Roman tradition of vines being displayed to advertise wine. By the fourteenth century, more abstract names were common, as evidenced by Chaucer’s description of the Tabard Inn in Southwark. The ‘Hostellers of London’ were granted guild status in 1446, showing that these medieval inns and hostelries were important in continuing the practice of offering rest and refreshment to travellers.

    During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries these establishments primarily sold beer and ale, until the first half of the eighteenth century when the so-called ‘Gin Craze’ took hold, especially amongst the poorer classes as the production of gin had increased to six times that of beer. The 1751 Gin Act forced gin makers to sell only to licensed premises and put drinking establishments under the control of local magistrates.

    During the 19th Century the Wine and Beerhouse Act was introduced to restrict the hours Public Houses could sell alcohol. This was further compounded by the Defence of the Realm Act 1914 which set the 11pm limit on the sale of alcohol throughout the twentieth century. The Licensing Act 2003 repealed the previous licensing laws for England and Wales, taking responsibility away from magistrates and placing it in the hands of local councils.

    British Tour Guide
    HisTOURies UK – The Best Tours in British History

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    Wanted to claryfy that we have not misspelt our tour company name. HisTOURies comes from two words  ‘history’ and ‘stories’ – clever eh?
    We operate guided historical (hisTOURical) sightseeing tours of Britain.  Our expert guides (historians or hisTOURians) bring Britain’s rich history (hisTOURy) alive with tales’s and stoiries (sTOURys or sTOURies) of ancient England.
    ‘It is not spelt incorrectly.’
    Hope thats clear (clear as mud)……………..
    Our award winning tours can depart from London, Salisbury, Bath or Glastonbury.  Please visit our website:
    HisTOURies UK – The Best Tours in British History (hisTOURy)

    Histories (Herodotus)

    The Histories of Herodotus is considered one of the seminal works of history in Western literature. Written from the 450s to the 420s BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that were known around the Mediterranean and Western Asia at that time. It is not an impartial record but it remains one of the West’s most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established without precedent the genre and study of history in the Western world, although historical records and chronicles existed beforehand.

    Perhaps most importantly, it stands as one of the first, and surviving, accounts of the rise of the Persian Empire, the events of, and causes for, the Greco-Persian Wars between the Achaemenid Empire and the Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. Herodotus portrays the conflict as one between the forces of slavery (the Persians) on the one hand, and freedom (the Athenians and the confederacy of Greek city-states which united against the invaders) on the other.

    The Histories was at some point through the ages divided into the nine books of modern editions, conventionally named after the Muses.

    Herodotus seems to have travelled extensively around the ancient world, conducting interviews and collecting stories for his book. At the beginning of The Histories, Herodotus sets out his reasons for writing it:

    British Tour Guide
    HisTOURies UK Stories in History

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