Hoe and Worthing Archive: The Swan  



The Swan in 1997: it had served its last pint in 1965 and in the years since had become quite run down. The house was probably built in 1836 the date carved into a post in the roof.


The property belonged to the Manor of Swanton Morley and the tenancy was granted by Copyhold. By the 1770s the lord of the manor was John Lombe, whose heirs still hold the lordship.

The deeds record the exchange of tenancy in 1804 to Samuel Hall, farmer of Worthing, who in 1811 is shown as the occupier of the tannery. Samuel Hall left his property to 'my natural daughter Mary Neale spinster now about the age of 17 years, daughter of Mary Neale of North Elmham'.

A descendant of Mary Neale, John Hall Swallow, who lived in Ontario, Cananda, claimed the tenancy in 1874 but had to pay a tax to the Inland Revenue under the Succession Duty Act.

The licensee from 1839 to 1845 was John Wells and in 1851 was Richard Dawson. The lease was offered for sale on Friday 23rd March 1851:
 'Substantially built of brick and slated, with good Stables, Gig House and Sheds, and is well situated, fronting the road leading from East Dereham to Foulsham, and distant about half a mile from Elmham Railway Station. Now let to a respectable tenant, and doing an excellent trade'.

Swan lease    Robert Hart leased The Swan from the
    Norwich brewers Crawshay & Youngs
    for ten years in 1851. Hart is described
    in the lease as a farmer.


In September 1893 John Loades, the landlord, had to go to court to get his licence renewed but was opposed by the police for having been convicted of poaching in February that year. The magistrates thought that Loades, having been in trouble just once in his eleven years as landlord, should keep the licence and so it was renewed. However, he was told "The occupier of a public-house must have a character beyond suspicion, and if anything occurred again, either by himself or harbouring others, his licence would be refused."

Worthing disorders

The demon drink got the better of several local worthies at The Swan, including John Loades.

In October 1912, The Swan was in the news again when Frederick Butterfield, a drayman employed by Cooper, Brown & Co, brewers of Dereham, was killed in an accident on a stormy night on his way back from making a delivery to the pub. See 8 & 9 Hoe page for the contemporary newspaper report and a picture of Fred Butterfield. The inquest was held in the pub on Saturday 2nd November.

The land surrounding The Swan was bought by P. D. Chapman Ltd (of the Tannery) in 1957 from its then owners, Youngs, Crawshay & Youngs, brewers of Norwich, who had bought the freehold. Youngs was liquidated in 1961 and the pub acquired by Bullards, also Norwich brewers, who closed it in 1965. Later that year it was bought by Bill Barker and his wife for 1600 and used as their residence until 1997. He remembers the pub sign being there in '65. The house did not have mains water in all the time Bill lived there but there is a well, perhaps one of those contaminated in the typhoid outbreak in 1900.



David Knight surveyed the Swan in 1997.

door   The door to one of the bedrooms.


Scratched onto a window pane: Fred Bidwell March 26th 1885.


Outside loos, shed and stable in the back yard.


This building is called the old smithy on a plan from 1961. It looks as if it is older than the pub but reroofed in the same style.