Original wrought iron sign that still hangs over the entrance arch to the Old Ship Inn in Mere, which is located in the extreme south-west corner of the county of Wiltshire UK. The sign is attributed to the work of Kingston Avery, 1703~1763, a local blacksmith and clock maker. At circa 300 years old it is arguably the oldest original hotel sign in the UK, featuring a network of ornate scrolling, spirals and flowers, topped by a crown and sailing ship.
The sailing ship was the family emblem of Johannes de Mere who founded a chantry in the local parish church in the 14th century.
The Old Ship Inn, over the centuries being patronised by everyone from royalty, in the form of King Charles 1, through to the more recently famous, having been a favourite haunt of Sir Lawrence Olivier and Vivian Leigh, who regularly dined in the heavily beamed Bayloft Restaurant.