A London pub named after a line from a once popular 18th century song has had its sign named the best in the country.

The Inn Society Pub Sign of the Year was won by the Lass O’Richmond Hill in Richmond, Surrey. The sign was chosen by members from the 40 submitted in this year’s competition. The Young’s Brewery pub is one of the many of its nearly 120 pubs that displays a sign designed by Jones Knowles Richie creative agency of London.

The Lass of Richmond Hill, also known as The Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill, is a song written by Leonard McNally with music composed by James Hook, and was first publicly performed in 1789. It was said to be a favourite of George III and, at one time, was thought to have been written by his son, George IV.

It is a love ballad which popularized the poetic phrase “a rose without a thorn” as a romantic metaphor.

Once there was a pub in North Yorkshire, which shared the pub’s name, but it has closed, leaving the field clear for this  southern usurper.

Photo credit: Peter Gorman

Join the Discourse

Want to discuss this article? Join in on Discourse