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Pub and Inn signs Ireland

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 242 ✭✭ kildarejohn


    I was recently doing some local history research re Kildare town and came across "The George on Horseback" as the sign on an inn in Kildare - there is no pub of that name now.
    This set me thinking on the more general question - why do we have very few pubs with old style inn signs like in England?
    Of course most Irish pubs are named after the owning family, but there are also many pubs particularly in Dublin which have names similar to English style ones, e.g. Red Cow, Bleeding Horse etc. But even the otherwise very traditional Bleeding Horse does not (as far as I know) have a hanging pictorial sign.
    Were traditional Inn Signs common here in the 19th century and only disappeared in the 20th century as an expression of distaste for all things English?


Comments

  • #2


    two off the top of my head are "The Galloping Green" (Gerry Byrnes) on the Stillorgan Road and "The Druids Chair" (Killiney Hill Road). I thought that "The Queens" in Dalkey also had one but Google Maps seems to disagree with me.


    Next time I'm out that direction I'll check (pub crawl tomorrow biggrin.png)


  • #2


    I was recently doing some local history research re Kildare town and came across "The George on Horseback" as the sign on an inn in Kildare - there is no pub of that name now.
    This set me thinking on the more general question - why do we have very few pubs with old style inn signs like in England?
    Of course most Irish pubs are named after the owning family, but there are also many pubs particularly in Dublin which have names similar to English style ones, e.g. Red Cow, Bleeding Horse etc. But even the otherwise very traditional Bleeding Horse does not (as far as I know) have a hanging pictorial sign.
    Were traditional Inn Signs common here in the 19th century and only disappeared in the 20th century as an expression of distaste for all things English?

    Where in Kildare was the "George on Horseback"? Kildare town or elsewhere in the county? does the pub survive under another name?


  • #2


    tabbey wrote: »
    Where in Kildare was the "George on Horseback"? Kildare town or elsewhere in the county? does the pub survive under another name?

    In Kildare Town, but cant be sure of where. The reference is in a Deed (available on Familysearch.org) dated 1776, Medlicott to Thornton, and as far as I can make out reads -
    "... that house, messuage or tenement wherein Robert Gard formerly lived in Kildare known by the sign of The George on Horseback with two stables and backside and garden thereto belonging also a house or cabbin next adjoining to the George wherein Tom Lalor servant (?) to the said Robt. Garde their dwelt situate lying and being in Galneglaure Street near the Westgate of Kildare within the Town and Corp'n of Kildare".
    So where was that? - Well Westgate was at the west end of Claregate St., so presumably near the junction of Clarregate St. and White Abbey rd., only pub near there now is McEnerneys', but another possibility is Dooras House which looks like a pub but is now Accountants office.


  • #2


    In Kildare Town, but cant be sure of where. The reference is in a Deed (available on Familysearch.org) dated 1776, Medlicott to Thornton, and as far as I can make out reads -
    "... that house, messuage or tenement wherein Robert Gard formerly lived in Kildare known by the sign of The George on Horseback with two stables and backside and garden thereto belonging also a house or cabbin next adjoining to the George wherein Tom Lalor servant (?) to the said Robt. Garde their dwelt situate lying and being in Galneglaure Street near the Westgate of Kildare within the Town and Corp'n of Kildare".
    So where was that? - Well Westgate was at the west end of Claregate St., so presumably near the junction of Clarregate St. and White Abbey rd., only pub near there now is McEnerneys', but another possibility is Dooras House which looks like a pub but is now Accountants office.

    I suspect that Galneglaure is a mistranscription of Claregate .

    At that time Claregate Street was mostly cabins. Following the executions of 1798, it was said the street had seventy widows, or something like that figure.


  • #2


    tabbey wrote: »
    I suspect that Galneglaure is a mistranscription of Claregate .
    QUOTE]
    I checked out the Kildare Historic atlas on https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/assets.ria.ie/ihta/ihta-digital/monastic-towns/kildare/IHTA_01_Kildare_Text.pdf.
    According to the Atlas, there was a street called Gaterelylaure St. It seems to me that Galneglaure is more likely a mistranscription of that one. The atlas says location of that st. is unknown but possibly Malone's Lane.
    If its Malone's Lane, then that makes it likely the George was where Dooras House is now, on corner of Malone's Lane




  • #2


    How was the exp ?


  • #2


    Sorry, I'm a bit late joining the party here. I don't think it would be possible to figure out the exact location of the George on Horseback in the town. Pubs at this time were often named after the sign above there door which had some sort of picture. The name could be a reference to King George (Kings were often mentioned in pub names, eg. The Kings Head in Galway). There is also a famous painting called Saint George on Horseback, so it could be a reference to this as well.

    There are two other Inns in Kildare mentioned in Emerson's Survey of Kildare (available in The Irish Historic Towns Atlas): The Black Bull, And The Fitzgerald Arms. The Black Bull was a common Inn name at the time - there were also pubs in Dublin of the same name in the 17th and 18th century.

    As I understand it, a law was brought in sometime in the 19th century in Ireland which required the proprietors surname to be put on a sign above the door, and this is why most long-standing pubs in Ireland have a surname in the name. Some of the more british-style names survived, mostly in Dublin as you said.

    What did you search on Familysearch.org to find that deed? Or did you go into the registry of deeds to look at it? I would be interested in taking a look at it myself.



  • #2


    Following is link to Memorials of Deeds on FamilySearch - FamilySearch Catalog: Transcripts of memorials of deeds, conveyances and wills, 1708-1929 — FamilySearch.org. The methodology for finding a Deed is a bit awkward and hard to explain; there are posts on Genealogy Forum about it, cannot find post now due to new "improved" search which is useless. Have a go, if you cant figure it out you could PM me.



  • #2


    I managed to find it, thanks!



  • #2


    On a tour in London I was told that pubs had names on them which were pictures because most of the population was illiterate, and there was no point in telling someone you would meet him in Murphys or FitzGeralds pub, as he wouldn't be able to read the name over the door.

    If on the other hand, you said you'd meet him in The Cock, the Bunch of Grapes or The Bleedin Horse etc, he'd have no problem finding it by the picture outside.

    Don't know if that's true, but it would explain things.



  • #2


    I am sure Murt you are correct about reason for pictorial signs; but that does not explain why in the present day pictorial signs are very common on pubs in England, but quite uncommon on Irish pubs - unless the Irish were more literate than the English in 19th/early 20th century?



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