Scores of pubs across Sussex still have the bizarre names they were given hundreds of years ago.

Visiting a country pub can be like taking a boozy history lesson, while newer pubs increasingly dream up quirky names in an attempt to bring in the punters.

It’s a tough assignment but reporters Daniel Pearson and Kai Tabacek swapped their pens for pints to discover more.

Pubs have been at the centre of British life for centuries and are gloriously named from everything from myths to murderers.

From The Laughing Fish to The Marlipins, the stories behind the monikers can spark interesting discussions over a pint or two.

So much so that stopping for a drink in a Black Lion or a Queen’s Head can seem rather mundane.

The Lion & Lobster may seem an odd combination but the pub in Sillwood Street has been popular with Brightonians for the past 25 years.

Actor Gary Whelan, who took over the establishment about eight years ago, said: “I believe the name was taken from the lion being the king of the land and the lobster being the king of the sea.

“We are renovating and want to maintain the idea of an old country pub in the centre of Brighton.”

The Flying Fish at Denton, near Newhaven, used to be called The Kicking Donkey. Its current name probably comes from seaplanes using Newhaven Harbour during the First World War.

It is probably the only pub with the name in the country, a distinction also enjoyed by The Black Rabbit at Offham, near Arundel.

In nearby Yapton The Shoulder Of Mutton And Cucumber is named after a dish once popular with customers in coaching days.

Manager Mel Mullen said: “It must be one of the more unusual names for a pub. I’m told it comes from an old dish we once served.

I’m not sure it would be so popular now.

“There’s a lot of history here.

The place used to be a mortuary and one of the publicans later committed suicide.”

The Half Brick in Brighton Road, Worthing, is named after another pub that stood on the site in the 15th or 16th century but was swept away by the sea during a storm in 1869.

The pub had been built out of small bricks, several of which were saved and are still on display.

But not every landlord knows the full story behind a strange name.

Ye Olde House At Home, in Broadwater Street East, Worthing, was built as two cottages in the 1890s.

Sarah Roy, who has been at the pub for eight years, said: “The old photographs all have the name of the pub written on them. It’s really hard to find out anything about it.

“We had a few people bringing in bits from the centennial, pictures of people playing games outside the pub and so forth.

They’re all older pub games, like tic-tac-toe, not darts or snooker.”

It is believed the name Ye Olde House At Home may derive from a Victorian ballad about soldiers abroad dreaming of their native land.

The Marlipins in Shoreham High Street gets its name from a 14th-century board game.

The Snowdrop in Lewes might be thought to derive from the flower but the story is a sad one.

The pub stands on the site of Britain’s worst avalanche in 1836, when snow from the cliffs engulfed the houses below, killing eight people.

The Laughing Fish, in Station Road, Isfield, near Uckfield, was built in the 1870s and originally called the Station Hotel.

Landlord Andy Brooks said: “We’re still unsure how or when the change of name to The Laughing Fish came about.

“A local historian said that after an uneventful day’s fishing some of the members would call in.

“The locals, unkindly, would comment that the fish were laughing at them “The locals were certainly instrumental in choosing the new name.”

Jacobs Post, in Church Road, Burgess Hill, is named after a smuggler who tried to murder a landlord in 1734.

Jacob Harris heard the landlord of The Royal Oak, in Ditchling Common, had taken £20 in one night and decided to steal it.

He slashed his victim’s neck and left him for dead then ransacked the pub.

He also killed the innkeeper’s wife and a maid before fleeing to another pub where the landlady noticed blood on his sleeves.

He hid in a chimney but had to flee again when overcome by smoke.

Despite his injuries, the landlord was able to identify Harris and he was hanged on a post next to the pub.

The post became an object of superstition and people would cut off bits of it and carry them around to ward off ill health.

Purported to be the most haunted pub in Brighton, The Druids Head is in a building which dates back to 1510.

The pub’s history and age have fuelled rumours of supernatural activity, with more than 90 sightings of ghosts and associated phenomena. Bar manager Yvonne Roache said: “The pub is named due to its proximity to the former sight of a stone circle once ascribed to the Druids.

“I prefer to ignore the ghost stories. I don’t like thinking about it because I live above the pub.”

The Black Jug in North Street, Horsham, was built in 1618 and gained its name from a practice that would make any environmental health officer shudder.

In the early days of the pub there were only three types of ale available. Those who drank from black jugs were drinking slops.

So there’s often a weird and wonderful story to be told at many a pub. Just be careful the storyteller is the right side of sober.