Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.





The verses were probably written about the year 1885 - after the "Marquis of Lorne" became the "Exeter" (about 1882) but before the "Don Jon" became the "Avenue" (about 1888) and before the "Golden Ball" closed (about 1888). But the "Duke of Wellington" had undoubtedly became the "Duke of Cambridge" by 1871, and the "Blue Bell" does not appear in any known list.



Written and Composed by James Watts
I went for a walk one evening,
And it came across my mind,
What a lot of curious signs
For Public Houses we could find,
So I'll tell you some of these
Curious public signs I saw
I've placed them in a rhyming verse
To try and please you all.
Now first I met a tradesman
Who the "Compasses" did use,
And called for blessings on the "Maiden's Head,"
Though the "King's Head" he abused,
Then I saw a dog the "Greyhound"
That near the "Fleur de Lis" had been
And bit the "Jolly Gardener"
Which of course worse "Mitre" been.

Now next I met "Princess Louise"
Out with the "Duke of York,"
And then I saw the "Man of Kent"
Upon a "Flying Horse,"
The "Coach and Horses" then came by
At a pace 'twas very fast,
But stayed to have refreshments
At the sign of the "Falstaff,"
And as I turned around "Two Brothers"
Asked me if I'd seen,
The "Woodman" 'neath the "Yew Tree"
Who hard at work had been
Ever since the "Rising Sun"
Had dawned from eastern skies,
On mother earths own "Fountain"
Where "Providence" never dies.

Then soon I met his Highness, "Don John" on a "Riding Gate,"
Who thieved and sold the "Old Crown"
To buy some of the "Grapes"
We "Little Wonder" how he fell
Into the "Falcon's" nest
And then the "Black Dog" bit him
'Twas a bit above a jest,
"Princess Alexandra" then asked
For the "Bell and Crown,"
And said she'd stand "Three Cups" of wine
For "Unity" in town,
We toasted to the "Rose and Crown"
And purities "White Horse,"
And then we drank out best respects
Unto "William the Fourth."

And her to me were drinking,
the "Two Brewers" came in,
And secured us that the ales they brewed
Were drank by the "Dolphin,"
And by everyone throughout the "Globe"
From "Exeter" to Hull
Where "Jolly Cricketer's" were often seen
At the game of "Bat and Ball."
And then I left and went and laid
Beneath the "Royal Oak,
And watched the working man at "Plough,"
Who a good morning to me spoke
He plucked for me a "Little Rose"
Which I to a "Sportsman" gave,
Who had just seen a "White Lion"
Not far from "Shakespeare's" grave.

After resting long, I went and viewed
The "Monument" renown,
And in the "Blacksmith's Arms" I saw
"Two Doves" of pure brown,
I asked him for to lend the "Gun,"
Also a "Golden ball"
To shoot the great "Black Lion"
beneath the "City" wall,
Mt attention was directed to
A pure "White Swan" which swam
Down the river by the "Ship,"
Which the "Jolly Sailor" manned
Just weighing the "Blue Anchor,"
From the rivers depth so blue,
As he sang of the "Duke of Wellington,"
At famous "Waterloo."

Now next I saw "Victoria,"
Clasped in the "Tanner's Arms,"
Who watched "George and the Dragon" fight
Which caused them such alarm,
The "Prince of Wales" then came along,
Arm in arm with the "Maid of Kent,
Who were watched by the "Two Sawyers"
As to the "Royal Exchange" they went
To claim the "Crown and Sceptre"
Which the "Freemason" had left
In the "City of London," for poor "George"
Who of one eye was bereft,
And then I saw the "Weavers"
Sitting on the "Woolpack,"
Who had just received an order
For a new "Cardinal's Cap."

I next strolled to the "Two Bells,"
And saw some sons of mars
Who were discussing the meaning,
Of heavens "Seven Stars,"
I left them to their argument
With a "Gallant Hussar,"
And in company with the "Forester's"
We still went on afar,
And then just as "Eight Bells" chimed
I saw the Evening "Star"
From "Angelo Castle" heights I heard,
The "Nightingale" afar,
I then went to the "Bee Hive"
And there saw the "Nag's Head,"
near the "Railway" plucked a "Blue Bell,
And then I went to bed.



"Greyhound." Closed 1898. 19 High Street.

"Jolly Gardiner." Was the "Queen's Arms" until about 1867.

"Princess Louise." name changed to "Model" about 1890.

"Two Brothers." Was the "Spread Eagle" until about 1870.

"Yew Tree." Was the "Princess Royal" until about 1874.

"Providence." Closed 1903. 102 Northgate Street.

"Don John." Name changed to "Avenue" about 1888.

"Old Crown." Was the "Crown" until about 1874.

"Princess Alexandra." Closed 1903. 30 Northgate Street.

"Three Cups." Was "Ethlebert" until about 1874.

"Unity." First appears in 1871.

"Exeter." Was "Marquis of Lorne" until about 1882.

"Plough." Name changed to "Wheatsheaf" about 1890.

"Blacksmith's Arms." Was "British Flag" until about 1878.

"Golden Ball." Closed soon after 1888. 8 North Lane.

"Duke of Wellington." Name changed to "Duke of Cambridge" by 1871.

"Weaver's Arms." Closed 1903. 70 Broad Street.

"Woolpack." Closed about 1903. 36 North Lane.

"Gallant Hussar." Was "Robuck" until 1874. Closed 1891. 1 The Borough.

"Angelo Castle." Name changed to "City Arms" about 1892.

"Blue Bell." Unidentified. Is the "Bell" intended?


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