21. Bunch Of Carrots, Hampton Bishop, Hereford.
The story behind this strange name? Apparently there is a rock formation nearby that resembles a bunch of carrots. The landlord boasts proudly that this is the only pub in Britain with the word ‘carrots’ in the name. Quite the claim to fame.
20. The Quiet Woman, Earl Sterndale, Buxton.
There’s a ghostly tale attached to this. Supposedly, the pub is named after a woman called Juthware who was decapitated in the nearby church by her brother. Her body picked up her severed head and placed it upon the altar before finally dying. And now, inevitably, she haunts the place. But at least she does it quietly.
19. The Cat And Custard Pot, Paddlesworth, Kent.
This pub’s other claim to fame, in addition to its weird name, is that it is “Kent’s highest pub”. Supposedly the pub was originally called the Cat And Mustard Pot but some signmaker made a cock-up many moons ago, and the spelling mistake stuck.
18. The Three Legged Mare, High Petergate, York.
Not a reference to a lame dobbin. A ‘three-legged mare’ is a medieval term for a gallows that can hang three people at once. There is a replica of such a device in the pub’s garden, so you can muse on pain and cruelty while supping an ale.
15. The Hung Drawn And Quartered, London.
The Hung Drawn And Quartered is on Great Tower Street, near Tower Hill, which is where in medieval times traitors of the realm were killed, often by that especially brutal punishment of hanging, drawing (being disemboweled) and quartering (being sliced up). Grammar pedants might argue that the pub should be called Hanged, Drawn And Quartered.
13. The Swan With Two Necks, Newcastle.
There are actually a handful of pubs in Britain with this name. The origin is slightly convoluted. Elizabeth I once gave some swans away, to some people who then marked the swans with two “nicks”. Somewhere along the way this got corrupted, and nicks became necks.
9. I Am The Only Running Footman, London.
The name of this Mayfair pub was decided in the late 19th Century, at a time when the job of footman - someone who walked/ran in front of a horse-drawn carriage, acting as a guide - was dying out. One of the last ones bought a pub to cater for his old footman friends.
8. The Drunken Duck, Ambleside, Cumbria.
The story behind this one is quite cute: the landlady one day found all of her ducks dead in the yard. Unaccustomed to waste, she plucked them ready for cooking. As she finished, the ducks began to revive and a search of the yard revealed a leaking beer barrel surrounded by webbed footprints. She was apparently so contrite that she knitted little jackets until their feathers grew back.
1. The Bucket Of Blood, Hayle, Cornwall.
The name refers to a supposed incident that took place 200 years ago, when the landlord went to draw water from the local well, and drew up a bucket filled with blood instead. A mutilated corpse was found at the foot of the well.