Some pub names like The Crown and Kings Head are everywhere, but patrons might not know the origin of these Watford pub names.

From the High Street to the countryside, the area around Watford has no shortage of pubs and each one has a name that might let you in on its history.

We’ve put together some of the most interesting examples:

The Cother Arms

Watford Observer: The Cother ArmsThe Cother Arms

When the former Wishing Well in St Albans Road was rebranded in 2022, it was given the name The Cother Arms.

This refers to the Cother brothers, the first players of colour to play for Watford and the first players of Asian descent to play professional football anywhere.

The Moon Under Water

Watford Observer: The Moon Under Water's gardenThe Moon Under Water's garden

One of the most interesting origins belongs to the High Street Wetherspoon The Moon Under Water.

It is named after an essay by George Orwell which described his ideal pub and exactly how it would operate. That fictitious pub’s name? The Moon Under Water.

Read the essay here.


Watford Observer: ThekaaThekaa (Image: Thekaa Gastropub)

Thekaa Gastropub, in the former Bar Bodega and Marcel’s Bar unit in The Parade, opened in this summer.

It is described as a Desi Indian gastropub and the name comes from its Indian roots. The owners explained that the word Thekaa derives from Thekedaar which means contractor.

The word originated when India was under British rule and the British contracted people to sell alcohol. Thekaa therefore came to describe a place contracted to serve alcohol.

The Colombia Press

Watford Observer: The Colombia Press unit after it shut down.The Colombia Press unit after it shut down. (Image: Colin Parkins)

This pub might be closed since last year but, given its connection to the Watford Observer, it feels worth including.

The Colombia Press, in The Parade, was named after the printing press imported from Colombia in 1923, which was used to print the Watford Observer’s first edition.

The Pennsylvanian

Watford Observer: The Pennsylvanian.The Pennsylvanian. (Image: Google Street View)

Another Wetherspoon, The Pennsylvanian, in Rickmansworth High Street is named in honour of William Penn.

Penn founded the American state and is thought to have lived in Basing House, in the same town High Street.

The building is currently occupied by Batchworth Community Council, the Three Rivers Museum Trust, and a co-working space called Rivertech.