London Pub Signs – The White Cross…


This pub situated on the bank of the River Thames in Richmond, in London’s west, owes its name to a former monastery which once stood on the site.

A pub has been on the site since at least 1748 when it was known as the Waterman’s Arms. But the current building dates from 1838 and it was renamed the White Cross shortly after.

There’s a couple of competing theories behind its name – one is that the landlord at the time of the name changed was one Samuel Cross. The other is that it was named after the friary which once stood on the site and was dissolved, no surprises here, by King Henry VIII, in 1534. The friary had been established by Observant Franciscans, who took the white cross as their symbol, around 1500.

Apparently some remains of the friary may be incorporated into the cellars of the pub. Other features to note are the lovely open fireplaces including one oddly placed under a window (delightful on colder days), and the sign pointing to the door on the side of the pub which states that this is the entrance in times of high tide (these usually occur during spring and see access to the front entrance blocked by the rising river water).

Located off Water Lane in Richmond. For more on the pub, check out

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