No. 372: Queensdown Road, E5
The Three Sisters, Queensdown Road, London, E5. Photo © Roger Dean 2011
Inns and Taverns of Old London Setting Forth the Historical and Literary Associations of Those Ancient Hostelries, Together with an Account of the Most Notable Coffee-houses, Clubs, and Pleasure Gardens of the British Metropolis – Henry Charles Shelley, 1909:
No one can glance even casually over a list of tavern signs without observing how frequently the numeral “three” is used. Various explanations have been offered for the propensity of mankind to use that number, one deriving the habit from the fact that primitive man divided the universe into three regions, heaven, earth, and water. Pythagoras, it will be remembered, called three the perfect number; Jove is depicted with three-forked lightning; Neptune bears a trident; Pluto has his three-headed dog. Again, there are three Fates, three Furies, three Graces and three Muses. It is natural, then, to find the numeral so often employed in the signs of inns and taverns. Thus we have the Three Angels, the Three Crowns, the Three Compasses, the Three Cups, the Three Horseshoes, the Three Tuns, the Three Nuns, and many more. In the city of London proper the Three Cups was a favourite sign and the Three Tuns was hardly less popular. There were also several Three Nuns, the most famous of which was situated in Aldgate High Street […].