Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Nags Head, Bunbury
There is often a story connected to pub names and one of them for the many called 'The Nag's Head' comes to us from the time of pirates and smuggling when a lantern would be tied around the neck of a docile old horse and this 'nag' would be led slowly up and down the hilltop or highest point to signal to the ship offshore that it was safe to land its cargo and occupants. The sight of the bobbing lantern was known as the Nag's Head.

The sign's designer shows an instantly recognisable outline so here is the real thing
Welsh Pony, Woodland
in this case a hardy Fell Pony who turned to look at me as I passed but only briefly before it returned to its main purpose .
of nibbling on whatever was tasty on the woodland floor.   Its companions were further
up the hillside. It is very rocky and stony ground but the fell ponies (whose ancestors have probably roamed about on the fells and valleys since neolithic times) seem to thrive.
Their coats looked glossy after the winter.

Although the word nag usually refers to an old or inferior horse, its older usage is that of a small riding horse or pony and comes to us from the Middle English word nagge whose origin is unknown.   

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at N here


Berowne said...

Interesting piece of history; thanx.

Reader Wil said...

Nags or fake lighthouses were also used in Cornwall in the 19th century by the shipwreckers.
Thanks for your interesting history.

Roger Owen Green said...

an old grey (and brown) mare


Gerald (SK14) said...

nice looking nag

Marie C said...

We have a Nags Head area in Virginia on the coast! Lovely photos!