The Swan Hotel

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire


The Swan


The Swan Hotel, on the corner of Church Street and Horse Street (now part of Market Street) bears the date 1500, but the façade is of at least two centuries later- Georgian, with a tuscan doorcase under a broken triangular pediment and a central venetian window above.  A doorway was inserted on the left as a separate entrance, perhaps to a shop or bar.

Another part of the Swan’s mythology is that it was visited by the Duke of Marlborough during his revolt in 1685 and that Judge Jeffries stayed there in the aftermath.

It was named in about 1631 in a lease: “Sybella Clutton holdeth the Swan Inne” and Church Rates were being paid on it in 1713. 

The Swan was one of the two main meeting places of the town (the New Bear was the other), where the Magistrates’ Courts were held -one in 1715 was held “apud signum Cygni“- and there were many auctions of property there. 

Market Street and Shambles, Bradford on Avon c1930

The situation of the Swan at the centre of the town, seen on a postcard of about 1937. The lamp and fountain were placed there by the parents of a man killed in the Great War.

Flood at the back of the Swan, Bradford on Avon, probably 1963

The rear of the Swan can be flooded; this occasion was probably in 1963. The ground floor is raised and water does not reach it, but the cellars may be filled.