Tavern Signs


The origin of taverns signs goes back to Roman times. Vine leaves would be hung outside the establishments to show that wine was for sale. Where beer was sold, a long pole or ale stake, which may have been used for stirring ale, was hung outside the door. After monasteries were formed, these were required to provide shelter for travellers and so hospices were built close by.

During the 8th century, these began to also provide food and refreshment to the public. They became known as taverns, derived from the Latin taberna and were distinct from the local rough and ready alehouses. These signs later became far more ornamental and were often skilfully crafted from wrought iron. There are still many blacksmiths with the skills to reproduce these wonderful works of art.

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