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Patrick Roberts

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British Pub Signs featuring Cats

Gallery 2

Begin browsing the galleries below, or see the index of names and locations,
where links will take you straight to a sign or name of interest.
We also have a short article about the history of inn signs here.

More signs in
Gallery 1      Gallery 3      Gallery 4      Gallery 5

Alphabetical index of pubs and locations

Gallery illustrations
Left-click a thumbnail for an enlargement.
In many cases pictures of a pub or other signs are available from text links.
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The Cat and Fiddle, Great Barr, Birmingham

The Cat & Fiddle: this splendid cat with his fiddle is situated in the Great Barr district of England's second city, Birmingham.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Oct 2004


The Cat and Fiddle, Cheltenham

The Cat & Fiddle: still another of this name; this whimsical depiction is to be found in the spa town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Oct 2004


The Puss in Boots, Stockport

This imaginative sign, illustrating a scene from the actual story, graces the Puss in Boots pub in Stockport, Greater Manchester. The pub had been refurbished by 2011, as in our photo, but the sign remains the same.
Older sign 1994, courtesy Inn Sign Society.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Sep 2004; checked Oct 2011


The Cat Tavern, Salisbury, Wilts

The Cat Tavern is close to the railway station in the Wiltshire cathedral city of Salisbury. There are various cat ephemera inside, and the landlady told me she had five real cats.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Oct 2004


Cat Head Inn, Chiselborough, Somerset

The Cat Head Inn: this pleasant-looking pub is in the little Somerset village of Chiselborough, not far from Yeovil. We're indebted to Noel Cook for the information that the name probably has nothing to do with cats, and 'cathead' is actually the name of an antique strain of European apple, best used for cooking or drying, and also known as 'catshead' or 'cat's head'. The village of Chiselborough was formerly surrounded by apple orchards, and there still are some there.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Oct 2004


This Cheshire Cat does not have an inn sign other than the name on the building. It is in the Brinnington area of Stockport, Greater Manchester.
Photographed Sep 2004


The Cat and Custard Pot Inn, Shipton Moyne, Gloucs

The Cat and Custard Pot Inn is in the Gloucestershire village of Shipton Moyne. There's an older photo from the 1950s at Wikipedia, and also an explanation of the name. However, another pub of the same name in Kent (see Gallery 3) has a different theory about theirs.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Oct 2004


The Cat and Lion, Stretton, near Warrington

The Cat & Lion: this unusually named pub is at Stretton, close to Warrington in Cheshire.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Sep 2004


The Cat and Canary, London Docklands

The Cat and Canary is a pub in London's Docklands business area, and we love this interpretation of the name where the tables are turned on the cat, which is in the cage with the canary holding the key. This is a replacement for the previous sign photographed in 2005 which had the same theme but a different painting on each side. Many thanks to Malcolm Robinson for photographing both these signs for PnF.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Oct 2009


The Cat i' th' Well, near Halifax, West Yorks

The Cat-i-th-Well (Cat in the Well) is a delightful country pub in a lovely setting on a quiet (and hard-to-find) lane a few miles outside the busy West Yorkshire town of Halifax. One story about the name is apparently that a previous landlord had a wife named Cath, whom he discovered was having an affair — so he drowned her in the well!
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed May 2005


The Puss 'n' Boots, near Acomb, York

The Puss 'n' Boots, with this lovely sign (but note the variation in the name), is located near Acomb, a western suburb of the ancient and well-known city of York, in the north of England.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Jan 2005


The Squinting Cat, Swarcliffe, Leeds

Our second Squinting Cat is a suburban pub in Swarcliffe, a district on the east side of Leeds, an important city in the former industrial heartland of West Yorkshire. A great sign.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Jan 2005


The Whittington and Cat, Hull, Yorkshire

The Whittington & Cat is a town pub near the docks area — much of which has been now redeveloped — in Hull, an important port (full name Kingston-upon-Hull) on the Humber estuary in the east of England. By 2009 the pub had undergone a substantial refurbishment and boasted a fine new sign.
Previous sign 2005
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Jan 2011


The Squinting Cat, Pannal Ash, Harrogate, Yorks

The third (and, we think, final) Squinting Cat gives another interpretation, this being a quite unusual cut-out metal sign rather than the customary painted one. It is a pub in the countryside near Pannal Ash, a village which in turn is not far from the Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate. The name is said to derive from the habits of a former landlady, known in uncomplimentary vein as 't'owd cat', because of her way of peering from beind the curtains to scrutinise approaching customers!
Older sign 1975, courtesy Inn Sign Society.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Jan 2005


The Brass Cat, Halifax, Yorks

The Brass Cat: this neat-looking town pub is in the old centre of the town of Halifax, West Yorkshire. The sign is a modern one rather than a traditional painted one, but we think none the worse for that. The name 'Brass Cat' may come from a nickname that was sometimes given to pubs called the 'Golden Lion', which is a heraldic name.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed May 2005


The Brass Cat, Bolton, Lancs

The second Brass Cat is not very far from the other one above, and is situated right in the centre of the former Lancashire mill town of Bolton. There is no separate pictorial sign.
Photographed May 2005


The Puss in Boots, Windley, Duffield, Derbs

Our fourth and (we think) last Puss in Boots is in the small village of Windley, near Duffield in Derbyshire. It is also the oldest of the four. The sign (the black one to the left, with a verse on one side) is not the original one, which was stolen. The verse is:

The water kindly turns the mill,
While I grind corn for many.
And ale, I hope may further still
assist to turn the penny.

Then try, my lads, how soon or late,
How ale your strength recruits.
You'll always find a cheery "Bate",
At honest Puss in Boots.

The stolen sign was later recovered from a car boot sale, and is now kept safely inside the bar area (see picture). The legend on it says '7 miles to Derby'.
See also older signs from 1984 courtesy Inn Sign Society.
Picture of the pub
Signs photographed May 2005


Cat Inn, Northwood, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs

This Cat Inn is a well-frequented town pub in the Northwood district of Stoke-on-Trent, the centre of the Potteries in Staffordshire. Unfortunately this sign was very badly faded and it was not possible to enhance it much. By mid-2009 it had been taken down altogether, leaving no sign at all.
Older sign 1990, courtesy Inn Sign Society.
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed Jun 2005


The Whittington Stone, Highgate Hill, London

The Whittington Stone is one of two pubs on Highgate Hill, in London, renowned for the story of Dick Whittington.
Older sign 2005
Picture of the pub
Sign photographed May 2011, courtesy Inn Sign Society


The Whittington and Cat, Highgate Hill, London

The second of the Highgate Hill pubs is the Whittington and Cat. The pictorial sign is inaccessible to photograph and in any case looked in bad shape (what a missed opportunity!), so we can show only the pub itself.
Photographed Jun 2005


Gallery 1      Gallery 3      Gallery 4      Gallery 5

Cats that Got Away

Alphabetical list of pubs and locations

Short history of British pub signs

Notes and Anecdotes
Additional information about particular 'cat signs' or pubs
(cross-linked with gallery entries)

Read about the adventures of Fleetwood who has visited over 80 pubs with his humans

If you know of any more pub signs depicting cats,
or have information about sign or name changes,
please !
All additions to or suggestions for the gallery gratefully received.

Drop in at our Facebook page

Grateful thanks are due to the Inn Sign Society for supplying and permission to reproduce images
of many older pub signs from their archive. Where appropriate these are acknowledged in the text above,
but otherwise all photos are our own except where indicated.

>^..^<     >^..^<     >^..^<

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Our featured feline at the head of the page, having quite a lot of fun, is Ragamuffin, or Rags for short: sadly he's no longer with us. A cat of great character who seemed to live by the maxim 'Life is for living', it was devastating for me when that life was cut short by a road accident. A rescue cat, he lived with me in North Wales for less than four years only. You can see a little tribute to him here with a more flattering photo.

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Page created May 2005, with later revisions and additions