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
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
Robert Hart leased The Swan from the
Norwich brewers Crawshay &
for ten years in 1851. Hart is
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."
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
David Knight surveyed the Swan in 1997.
The door to one of the bedrooms.
Scratched onto a window pane: Fred Bidwell March
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.