Intro A B C D E F G H I-J-K L M N-O P-Q R S T U-Z Credits

The Dairyman(32 Vernon Street)

Refer to the entry for: The Freemasons Arms

The Dallington Brook Inn(Aberdare Road)

Refer to the entry for: The Red Earl

The Dick Turpin(Horsemarket)

The famous highwayman would make a suitable subject for an inn sign, implying the sort of hostelry of that period with its ample food, roaring fires and fine ale. I cannot confirm the reputation of this establishment as I only have one reference to it, from the Northampton Independent November 1979 where the information given is only that above.

The Dick Turpins(134 Great Russell Street)

Refer to the entry for: The Jolly Crispin

The Dog(Brier [Briar] Lane)

Only Burgess 1845 gives a name to this sign, both Hickman and Kelly 1847 have the landlord's name, T. Carver, to indicate that it still existed. There are only these three references and they all refer to T. Carver as a beer-retailer.

Brier Lane (correct spelling) is shown on Laws map 1847 and is in effect the start of the Wellingborough Road out of St. Edmund's Terrace. St Edmund's Terrace was a row of dwellings on the south side of the Wellingborough Road that ran from the junction of Wellingborough and Kettering Roads east to what is now called St. Edmund’s Terrace (i.e. the alley-way by the public toilets) and appeared to include two rows of small dwellings either side of the present alley-way. Brier Lane came next and seems to have been the general name for the Wellingborough Road as far as Raglan Street. Law shows only buildings on the north side of the road, so this is where the Dog must have been. There were few buildings in the row so it is possible that the Dog and the Little Boat (Taylor 1864, George Parker, 78 Briar Lane) are the same premises, however, Taylor lists a beer-retailer, George Bennett at number 44 Brier Lane.

The Dolphin(15 Gold Street)

Dolphin Sign As a symbol the dolphin goes back a long way. The Minoan palace on Knossos which dates from about 1500 years BCE has (restored) paintings of dolphins on its plastered walls. The Greeks and Romans liked them too - they have been popular all through history. The dolphin is the badge of the Watermans' Company and was also used to indicate the French Dauphin or Crown Prince, I'm not sure of its significance here. This establishment went back a long way, as it was listed as one of the Ancient Inns in the Assembly Order 1585 so it must have been well established by then. It is easy to see that it was a place of importance from the large number of advertisements and announcements appearing in the local press in the 18th century.

The building was demolished and the Grand Hotel built on the site between 1889 and 1892. Two articles in the Northampton Mercury in November and December 1889 describe evidence of the Great Fire of 1675 (burning), a number of cock-spurs and an Ancient British gold coin being discovered during the demolition.

During the Civil War on October 15th 1643 an attack was made on Northampton by Prince Rupert. They marched from Holdenby and attacked at midnight. As a result of this skirmish several soldiers were killed or wounded, the latter being put up at various addresses in the town. A burial recorded by All Saints' Church over a year later was probably due to this action: - from the dolphin, a trooper unknone. October 26 1644.

St. Peter's also mentioned the Dolphin in its records, from the Vestry Book of St. Peter's Church on the election of churchwardens – which seems to have been a jolly affair!

1769 .... .... .... Spent att the Dollfin .... .... .... 0..10..6.

The Northampton Mercury 1737 announced that a Richard Boswell from East Haddon now keeps the Dolphin and in 1757 it told of the death of the landlady, Mrs. Aithy. About this time there were other announcements concerning lost or stolen property, sales of cheese and the letting of the inn as well as another announcement of a new landlord:

Being removed from the Unicorn, in Bridge st. to the DOLPHIN INN, in Gold-street Northampton, takes this publick Manner of requesting a Continuance of the Favours of his Friends: and of assuring all Gentlemen, Tradesmen Chapmen & Others, (who will be pleased to honour him with their Commands) that they may depend upon receiving the Best Accommodation and most obliging behaviour.
N.B: The Sale of the entire stock, Household Goods Brewing-Utensils; etc. at the UNICORN, will be on Tuesday the 13th. Day of August.
Northampton Mercury, July 29, August 5, 12. 1765

A sale catalogue of 1827 describes the property:

Coach and Commercial Inn called the Dolphin, now in the occupation of Mr. John Shaw...13 good bed chambers, large Market-Room. Three Parlours, Bar, roomy kitchen, Larder, Scullery, Four Cellars, large yard, surrounded with excellent Stabling for between 70 and 80 horses: Lofts & Graneries, Brewhouse, three saddlers' Rooms and pump of good water. The catalogue also describes the rest of the property - a Dwelling House used as a Coach office on the corner of Kingswell Street and Gold Street and a Tenement adjoining in Kingswell Street, Both of which can easily added to the Inn if required.

By 1847 the properties were up for sale again. The auction catalogue details four lots of this, extensive Freehold Estate. This was because of the death of the landlord, Thomas Linnell. It appears that by 1847 the Coach office had become a tobacconists and the tenement had become the Dolphin Tap. The Inn was still the Inn, but now enlarged with a second bar, the Tap, with access from Kingswell Street. The fourth lot appears to have laid to the north of the Tap in Kingswell Street and probably occupied the corner of this street and Woolmonger Street and was another pub - the Rising Sun.

For many years its successor, the Grand Hotel had a bar called the Dolphin Bar in honour of this Ancient Inn. In the 1960s I would meet my friends here on Saturday lunch-times and perhaps learn of a party or two taking place that evening. Its entrance was in Kingswell Street at almost the same spot where the Dolphin Tap door must have been. Later this door gave access to a bar called the Kasbar.

The Dover Castle(26 Dover Street)

This pub was tucked away just off the Kettering Road and I can recall visiting this establishment in my youth, it seemed to be the haunt of Teddy-boys - who by that time were becoming anachronisms. Based on the directory entries, this inn, as it was called in the first entries, opened at the beginning of the 20th century. Bennett 1901-2 has as well as inn - Accommodation for cyclists etc. teas provided to order, so it was at the time catering for the current craze. Sadly, along with other pubs of character it was destroyed in the 1970s - demolished as part of the Exeter Road Clearance.

The Dragon(St Marys Street)

This is one of the pubs listed in the RBN 1898 as being of the 16th or 17th centuries. Unfortunately the documents they used are not available today.

Dragon Sign A dragon was the standard of the West Saxons and can be seen on the Bayeux Tapestry. However, I think in this case it is probably later, from the Tudor period. Dragons tend, in this part of the world, anyway, to come in two colours, red and green. We have a Green Dragon and when a dragon's colour is not specified it’s usually a red one. Not only a symbol of Wales, but also one of the bearers of the Royal Arms of the Tudors. When you come across a King’s or Queen’s Head pub sign the usual sovereigns depicted are Henry VIII and his daughter, Elizabeth. Both, but especially Elizabeth are reputed to have been fond of inns and taverns and a red dragon would show one’s allegiance to the Crown.

Alternatively, there was once a famous horse that belonged to Tregonwell Frampton - The Father of the Turf (1641-1727) called Dragon - so perhaps the explanation is that simple.

The Drapers Arms(29 The Drapery)

A suitable name for a pub located in the Drapery, it seems to have been a short lived establishment at the turn of the 19th century. According to the numbering of properties in 1964 this pub was immediately north of Swan Yard. There are only two listings as a pub of this name, both in Lea 1893 Thomas L. Bates and 1900 H. Purser. Thomas L. Bates is listed as a beer-retailer at this address from 1885. A Henry or Harry Purser was a beer-retailer at 44 Kettering Road and 21 Raglan Street (the Lord Raglan) in 1893 and 1894.

Incidentally the arms of the Company of Drapers bear three Imperial Crowns - this may account for some of the pubs of that name.

The Drums(Drum Lane)

This is another pub listed in the RBN 1898 about which I can find nothing; however; it is probably the modern Rifle Drum.

The Duck and Drake(Location unknown)

This is another one from the RBN 1898. In this case we not only don't have the document, we don't even know where it was. An old name given to the game of skimming stones across a pond.

The Duke of Cambridge(50 Barrack Road [Hopes Place])

Also: The Gardeners Arms

Also: The Cambridge Arms

Hope or Hope's Place was the frontage onto the Barrack Road running from what became Louise Road to La Belle Alliance Cottages, now The Poplars. By comparing various plans and maps I have come to the conclusion that the piece of land between Nelson Street and Leicester Street once contained two or three properties, one of these being the Britannia Inn and another a beer-house called the Duke of Cambridge which disappeared around 1941. At some time about then the whole area was cleared and a new Britannia Inn constructed on the site.

The pub's proximity to the Barracks, which were built in 1796 probably accounts for its name. Frederick Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge was born at the Queen's Palace, now Buckingham Palace on 24th February 1774. He was the tenth child and seventh son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. He was a military man, and in 1805 he was made a colonel of the Coldstream Guards and in 1827 the Colonel-in-Chief of the 60th - or King's Royal Rifle Corps.

This pub appeared in an advertisement to be let in the Northampton Mercury August 1873 as the Cambridge Arms doing a first-class business, even allowing for advertising superlatives it must have been established for a while. The landlord appears to have been a John Dunkley.

The Old Duke of Clarence(11 Mercers Row)

Also: The Queens Dragoons

Also: The Leg of Mutton

This pub used to stand on Mercers Row on the west side of the south-west entrance to the Market Square, now occupied by a newsagent. The Duke of Clarence was a very popular man and on his accession to the throne became King William the Fourth and gave his new title to some more pubs.

It started life as the Queen's Dragoons, later, changing to the Leg of Mutton, no doubt indicating that food was available and stayed thus until 1814. In this year it acquired its last sign - the Duke of Clarence. Another duke of Clarence has a connection with Northampton, in October 1887 the Duke, a grand-child of Queen Victoria opened an extension of the General Hospital, however the pub is unlikely to have been named after this Duke for he would have had to have been at least 73 years old. It is interesting to note that this particular Duke of Clarence was named a few years ago as a possible candidate for Jack the Ripper.

The Duke of Edingburgh(3 Adelaide Street)

Also: The Flower de Luce

Also: The Royal George

The Duke of Edinburgh It is interesting that the first appearance of this Duke name (1884) coincides with the Duke of Cambridge's first appearance. Here we have two pubs on opposite sides of the Barrack Road changing their names to Dukes at possibly the same time, and no doubt, for the same reason - the nearby Barracks.

The Duke of Edinburgh was the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as well as being the Duke of Edinburgh he was also the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was educated for the Navy and served in the Channel, North America, the West Indies and the Mediterranean. He became a Rear Admiral in 1878, Vice Admiral in 1882, Commander of the Channel Squadron in 1883-4, Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean 1886-9, an Admiral in 1887 and Admiral of the Fleet in 1893 - this may have had something to do with having influential parents.

The other rather short-lived names for this pub probably also refer to matters military, especially the Royal George, being, as it is, the name of a famous ship built at Woolwich in 1756. The Flower De Luce could be the Fleur de Lis from the French arms and found on the arms of the sovereign of England, but could also refer to the badge of the Prince of Wales, or his regiment. The pub is now a pharmacy (2009).

The Duke of York

We have had two of these; a short-lived early 19th century one in Bridge Street and another on St. Andrew's Road still with us.

There can be little doubt that both were named after Prince Frederick Agustus (1763 - 1827), the second son of George III and the subject of that well-known nursery rhyme about marching men up and down hills. Like all good rhymes of this ilk there is an element of fact behind it. It appears that when we were fighting the French in Holland in the 1790s the Duke of York was leading 40,000 men into the sunrise when he saw the entire French army of 150,000 men lined up for battle. Realising that he could not win against such odds, he led his men up a low hill, fooling the French into believing he planned a flank attack. The French manoeuvred their whole army to the other side of the hill whilst the Duke marched his men back down the same side as they had gone up. The resulting chaos enabled English fire and cavalry to force a French withdrawal and the Duke was able to get his troops out of Holland before the winter set in, saving many lives, perhaps including the chap who wrote the rhyme.

The Duke of York(St Andrews Road & 90 Salisbury Street)

The Duke of York
Before WWII pigeon racing was a popular past time and at least two pubs in the town had clubs - this one and the Garibaldi, Wellingborough Road. These two clubs and the Northampton Town Flying Club bred homing pigeons as part of the war-effort. Pigeons were taken on aircraft missions so in event of a catastrophe they could be released and inform base of the crew’s fate.

The Duke of York(Bridge Street)

This pub is listed in three of Pigots directories, 1824, 1830 and 1840. These directories do not contain as much information as later ones and do not include such useful details as street lists or property numbers. There are no references to this pub in later directories so I assume that it ceased as a Sign. Without any clues to its place in Bridge Street it is impossible to tell whether it changed its name or became extinct.

The Dulleys Ams

Refer to the entry for: The Maple Tree

The Dun Cow

Refer to the entry for: The Bearward Arms

The Durham Ox(1 Augustine Street)

This pub stood on the south-west corner of Augustine Street and Weston Place. Augustine Street on the south side disappeared during the construction of St. Peter's Way many years ago.

The Durham (or Ketton) Ox was a famous beast. In 1802 at the age of six years the animal weighed a staggering 34 cwt. and had a girth of over 11 feet. The Durham Ox was a popular sign in the past in rural areas - perhaps the original landlord brought the name with him?