London – City of London – Museum of London (1667 Tavern Sign)

Unfortunately, the lighting in this part of the Museum of London wasn’t very good when I took the photo, but this is still one of my favourite exhibits. It’s a tavern sign for the Three Kings pub and it dates to 1667, the period when the city was rebuilding following the devastating Great Fire of London. A rule at the time meant that the sign had to be placed flat on the external part of the building, signs weren’t allowed to stick out.

The sign is made from limestone and it was found in Bucklesbury, an area of London which is long gone, although it’s somewhere around where Bank underground station is today.

A line drawing of the sign from the late nineteenth century. I liked this because the labourers rebuilding London would have seen this sign when they went into the tavern for their one or eight pints, a rather lovely little piece of history. As for the pub, not much seems to exist in the records, it may have been somewhere that was only trading for a few years. But, thanks to this sign, its memory lives on.