Pubs in England

Pubs in English Life


The Rovers Return, the Queen Vic, the Bull and the Woolpack are amongst the most famous English pubs, but you can't have a drink in any of them. That's because they exist only in soap-opera fiction. However, they illustrate how the pub is at the heart of the community, in villages, towns and cities, all over England.

The pub is more than just a shop where drinks are sold and consumed. For centuries it has been a place where friends meet, colleagues 'talk shop' and business people negotiate deals; a place where people gather to celebrate, play games, or to seek quiet relaxation.

Due to changes in the law, the pub is now a place for families. It is re-establishing itself as the place to eat, a tradition that had all but disappeared after the last war. Many provide affordable accommodation, particularly in rural areas. In remote communities pubs often serve a dual role, such as church or post office.

So how has the pub evolved its unique role in English life?
Today we talk about the 'pub' but this is a term invented by the Victorians, an abbreviation of 'public house'. It was the Romans who gave England its first 'pubs' almost two thousand years ago. In Roman towns tabernae served food and wine (and probably the local ale too), they displayed vine leaves outside to advertise their trade. When the Romans left, the tabernae disappeared.

Over the next few centuries invaders came and went, and occasionally settled. One thing all the invaders had in common was their fondness for drinking. They had a particular thirst for ale, which was brewed using malted barley, water and yeast. It was sweet and often very powerful. Skill was needed to produce good ales, but they soured easily and did not keep well.

 

So how has the pub evolved its unique role in English life?

Today we talk about the 'pub' but this is a term invented by the Victorians, an abbreviation of 'public house'. It was the Romans who gave England its first 'pubs' almost two thousand years ago. In Roman towns tabernae served food and wine (and probably the local ale too), they displayed vine leaves outside to advertise their trade. When the Romans left, the tabernae disappeared.

Over the next few centuries invaders came and went, and occasionally settled. One thing all the invaders had in common was their fondness for drinking. They had a particular thirst for ale, which was brewed using malted barley, water and yeast. It was sweet and often very powerful. Skill was needed to produce good ales, but they soured easily and did not keep well.