Pub signs are England's number one icon

PUBLISHED: 14:09 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:38 20 February 2013

The traditional pub sign wins out but will the pub?

The traditional pub sign wins out but will the pub?

An online public vote by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has found pub signs to be the most cherished of all English icons. Do you agree?

An online public vote by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has found pub signs to be the most cherished of all English icons.

Author Sebastian Faulks nominated the pub sign (14.5%), which was followed by red post boxes (11.9%) in second place and canal boating, a nomination from actor Kevin Spacey, which finished third.

However, CPRE fear the traditional pub sign is dying out as independent ale houses close down and old fashioned pubs receive a makeover.

"A Royal Act in 1393 made it compulsory for inns to have signs, in order for official ale tasters and the mainly illiterate population to identify them, and so colourful signs and symbols have been gently enticing us inside ever since," says author and president of CPRE, Bill Bryson.

"At a time when 36 pubs per week nationally are closing their doors, it is heartening to hear of the value still placed on this heralded tradition. I'm delighted pub signs won the Icons vote, and of course there is no better place to celebrate this result than inside an equally iconic British pub."


Discover what Surrey's most famous faces chose as the county's top icons

Looking for a pub to try out, check out our list of the best summer and winter pubs in Surrey


What do you make of the rapid rate that the traditional English pub is disappearing and what would you do to halt the rot? Which are your favourite Surrey pubs and what is it that you love about them? Do you have any favourite Surrey pub signs and do you agree that they should be England's number one icon?

More from Surrey Life

Yesterday, 12:41

Bella Vou run us through CO2RE Intima, a non-surgical treatment helping with women’s intimate health

Read more
Tue, 16:16

At Sir William Perkins’s School (SWPS) the aim is to build confidence, integrity and excellence in a caring, innovative and happy community so that each student leaves with the best possible chance of achieving her full potential and ready to take on the world.

Read more
Tue, 11:43

If the colder weather is making you feel like escaping to somewhere snug and cosy, you might be surprised to find some perfect rural retreats right on your doorstep. Here’s our pick of the best to discover in Surrey…

Read more
Tue, 11:33

Get ready to laugh, boo and hiss, and cheer on your favourite childhood heroes in the array of pantomimes coming to Surrey theatres this Christmas

Read more
Tue, 11:01

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Mon, 16:01

Actress, singer and entertainer, Anita Harris has travelled the world in an illustrious career that spans over five decades. From her home in Chertsey, she talks to Tinx Newton about the people she has worked with, her tour and life in Surrey

Read more
Mon, 14:13

If there's ever a time of year when a brisk, bracing walk is needed, then winter and the lead-up to the festive season is surely it. Here we round up a few of our Surrey favourites

Read more
Mon, 13:01

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (14, 15 and 16 December): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Surrey is a county full of festive delights. Think cosy pubs, frosty views and long winter walks. We pick 22 wonderful reasons to spend Christmas in Surrey.

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Surrey this month

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

With beautiful countryside, stunning villages and plenty of bluebells during spring, Surrey is an amazing place for a stroll

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Pupils at The Hawthorns School in Bletchingley collected over 5,800 items of food for the Loveworks foodbanks in Reigate and Merstham

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

We’ve teamed up with Grand Illusions to give one lucky reader the opportunity to win a £250 gift card with the stylish homeware brand

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Celebrating its 25 anniversary, Kinghams restaurant is found at the heart of one of Surrey’s most iconic villages. Matthew Williams visits to discover the secrets of its longevity

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search