This sign of the Rising Sun is quite widespread and is a common heraldic
symbol referring to Edward III, Richard III and to many landed families.
However, many signs, particularly in rural areas, the board tends to illustrate the start of the
day and often one can find the happy smiley sun emerging above the horizon -
often with a cock in the foreground. Perhaps the
promise of a new day dawning is probably of more significance than a
Edward III incorporated the Rising Sun within his Royal Crest and this symbolic
image was later adopted by other powerful and notable families across the land.
The sign's use is sometimes thought to be where a public house occupied land
owned by such families.
There is another possible reason for the sign being used on a particular pub as
the Rising Sun was incorporated into the coat of arms for the Worshipful Company
of Distillers. These arms feature the sun, with a cloud distilling drops of rain
above a double armed still with two worms and receivers.
On some signboards the Rising Sun can be seen behind a notable building or
landmark such as the example above which shows Winchester Cathedral. Another
example to the right features a bright sun rising over Bath Abbey.
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Inn Sign Society
Click here for a list of inn signs featured on the website,
along with an overview of British pub signs.
"The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the
twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the
certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may
happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not a jot. The
possibility is always there.”