Express & Star

One of Bridgnorth's oldest pubs to reopen as cocktail bar under new name

One of Bridgnorth's oldest pubs and most haunted pubs has been renamed as new owners prepare to turn the former medieval hostelry into a cocktail bar.

The Swan - in new and old times.

The Old Swan Inn at 52 High Street has been a public house since around 1492 when it was known as ‘Le Swanne’ and was a resting place for travellers. But the building dates back even further than that.

Local historian, Clive Gwilt, says it is mentioned in historical records dating back as far back as 1392 when Hugo, the Earl of Stafford had a mansion in the High Street.

"The mansion is mentioned in 1471 as Le Swanne as a resting place for travellers and again in 1477," said Clive. "In 1492 it was known as a hospice called ‘Le Swanne’, and of course that meant it was a resting place for travellers."

He said its name stemmed from swans being a favourite emblem of many of the English Kings.

The Swan as it was at the turn of the 20th century

Clive said the original building appears to have survived the great fire of 1646 but it was partly burnt down a few years later. It was rebuilt and named on a lease in 1647 as ‘The Swanne’.

"It appears on a list as first being licensed in 1690, although ale was sold many years before this," said Clive. "Various lease-holders are recorded but there are no actual pub records until 1723 when a Mrs Sarah Butcher is noted as having leased ‘The Old Swan’ for 21 years.