Is there any word in modern usage as telling as "hardwired?" We are now bring informed that we are evolutionary machines "hardwired" for religion. See reviews of Nicholas Wade's new book, "The Faith Instinct" here and here. Love is just an evolutionary trick to get us to bond and take care of our children, you see. Religious experience is just an illusion to foster altruism, thus benefitting group selection. Morality must be some kind of evolutionary trick as well.
And this is where modern secularism meets fatalism: I can't help it, I'm just wired that way. We are only our bodies and our bodies are only machines.
this website brought Eight Bells of Dunmow, the head of one maid and two cows. A bit short in the milkmaid department but pub signs are not an equal opportunities employer. Shepherds, sailors, men on horses in plenty, only one Milkmaid Tavern in the whole country to the best of my knowledge, that was in Willingham Cambridge but I am not 100% certain it is still trading as a pub.
I wonder if the Jolie Laitière, the ladies clothing emporium of Paris in Arnold Bennett's novel Imperial Palace, had a sign?
I do not personally know the Eight Bells in Dunmow - that is one of my husband's contributions to the project. It is all wrought metal but so far as he can recall the bells don't ring which is a shame. Again it may be an ecclesiatical connection. St Mary's Church in Dunmow has a peal of eight bells; but in England you can never forget the maritime connections of eight bells and the watch system.
The Maids Head a pub and hotel just outside the Cathedral Close in Norwich. It is several old buildings converted into one hotel. The door beneath the sign bears the date 1595 but I think the sign itself, set in the wall is Victorian mock gothic/neo Tudor.
Cow or something cow is a common pub name, although not as common as bulls (not an equal opportunity employer as I said - bulls are very macho, as are boars). The Brown Cow in York used to be a nice pub but I have not been in there for over 20 years. I will photograph the Spotted Cow in Waltham Abbey when I am there next, probably over the summer.
So bottom left is the Old Red Cow opposite Smithfield meat Market in London, and bottom left the Dun Cow (does lovely food) at Salthouse on the North Norfolk coast, and showing signs of wind and salt damage.