Red Lion Street, TW9

Place Name

Although two-thirds developed by 1620, the name of the street wasn’t adopted until well into the 18thCentury – although there was a degree of inevitability about the choice. Unsurprisingly, the road takes its name from a pub, a sprawling inn called the Red Lyon, which stretched around the corner of today’s George Street and Red Lion Street. The red lion was a popular heraldic symbol for taverns, originating from the time of James I and VI of Scotland who came to the throne in 1603. James ordered that the heraldic red lion of Scotland be displayed on all buildings of importance – including pubs. The pub itself closed sometime around 1738 but by the mid-18thCentury the name was revived for a smaller inn – although like the street name it was not officially adopted until 1771. Until that point it had been given numerous descriptive names including, in 1754, “Worple way behind the Church”. The revived Red Lion, which had stood opposite Victoria Place, was knocked down in 1912.


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