History of The Bun Penny

The Bun Penny is located on Manor Way, which was originally a medieval track joining the area’s agricultural settlements with the villages of Tichfield and Stubbington. The origins of our building go back to medieval times and by the 17th Century it was a farmhouse. In the 19th Century there were attempts to develop Lee on The Solent into a holiday resort with the arrival of the railway, a pier and major developments along the seafront. Around this time the farmhouse was converted into the Victoria Hotel. Later in the 20th Century the building was refurbished to the one we see today. The name dates from this period, as during demolition of some outbuildings to create the car park, a quantity of Bun Pennies were discovered.

The Bun Penny, first minted in 1860, was a milestone in British coinage. Taking its name from its depiction of a flattering portrait of the young Queen Victoria, with her hair in a bun, the 1860 Bun Penny was important in a number of ways. It introduced bronze for lower denomination UK coins (previously copper). It also featured a seated Britannia facing right on the reverse and set the dimensions of a penny, both features that remained on the penny until 1970. Bun Pennies were minted every year from 1860 to 1894 and during that period Victoria’s head was changed subtly as she aged. There are also changes to Britannia, her shield and the light house, all of which makes these coins of interest to collectors. Whilst pennies were minted throughout the rest of Victoria’s reign, in these her portrait has lost the bun and she is shown wearing a veil.

It is rather fitting that our pub with its long heritage, should be named after a coin of such historical importance. As far as we know, there is only one other pub named the Bun Penny in the UK.

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