Black Dog Pub Sign

Black Dog Pub Sign

...known as sites of gambling and raucous behaviour.

This object was once seen hanging above the main door of the Black Dog pub in Portsmouth. The large ceramic sign dates back to 1899. The pub was located on 263 Arundel Street until it was closed and demolished in 1969.

A new pub called the Black Dog was built shortly afterwards just yards from the original site. After several name changes it was eventually demolished in 2002 to make way for housing.

For Portsmouth, with large numbers of military forces and sailors as well as holiday-makers, pubs have always featured prominently as a local industry and part of social life.

The pubs were often associated with local or national political and social campaigns. They were sometimes places to recruit men for the armed forces. They could also be known as sites of gambling and raucous behaviour.

Quick Facts

  • Accession number 2003/2621
  • Sign made in 1899
  • Used at The Black Dog Pub, 263 Arundel Street, Portsmouth


  • By 1900 there were around 800 public houses in the Portsmouth borough. That number of pubs represents an incredible density for the area of land on Portsea island.
  • The pubs ranged from those that were quite grand to those that were little more than the front room of a person’s house.
  • Many interesting pubs were designed by A. E. Cogswell. He also designed other buildings in Portsmouth including shops, banks, churches, schools, cinemas, theatres and with architect, A H Bone, he designed the Carnegie Library.
  • During the later stages of the Twentieth Century big brewing chains have taken over many of the pubs. For example the largest Portsmouth brewery, Brickwoods, was taken over in the 1970s by the Whitbread group. Many pubs have closed or been demolished but many other interesting ones still remain.

Did you know?

The first brewery in Portsmouth was built in 1492.

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