It was thirsty work marching along those straight Roman roads in Britannia. The local Celts quaffed their beer and looked on with a cautious eye, as the Romans established tabernae where they could halt and purchase a glass of wine. In time, taverns morphed to Saxon alehouses, and English coaching inns. Town and village inns provided a convivial community meeting place, and refreshment, food and lodging for the weary traveller. An inn sign became mandatory, and names were derived from local patronage, religion and folklore. Public houses came to serve neighbourhoods in industrial cities, the English village pub continued to host locals and passers-by, and taverns and hotels sprang up in settlements and along pioneering backroads in New Zealand. These three sessions will explore the rich history surrounding these communal gathering places.