The Old Swan was once a tied house of Garton’s Bristol ales in 1891. Charles Garton & Co. They were taken over by the Anglo-Bavarian Brewery of Shepton Mallet in Somerset in 1898 The Old Swan was a licensed ale house with an annual rateable value remaining constant at £68.0s.0d. from 1891 to 1903.

 I remember the Old Swan in the mid 1970’s when it was an unspoilt multi-roomed traditional alehouse. It was the haunt of folk musicians; the Old Swan Band took its name from the pub.

Above images Courtesy Michael Wilkes

Whitbread gutted the interior in the early 1980’s and in the refurbishment that followed a micro-brewery was installed in the premises. This was to monopolise on the real ale revival that was taking place at the time. The beer was made from malt-extract and, as a result, was sweeter and thinner in character than beers brewed by traditional full-mashing. The in-house brewery did not last very long.

In March 1995 the Old Swan was transformed into a trendy Irish theme pub called O’Hagan’s. The name reverted back to the Swan in May 2003.

Note the mysterious disappearance of the West Country Ales ‘Best in the West’ plaque.

Landlords at the Old Swan include:

1830 John Barrett

1844, 1856 Charles Dowle

1859 William G. Evans

1870 John Gould

1871,1878 William Ward (aged 53 in 1871 and married to Mary, aged 45)

1883,1885 Henry Scadding

1891 Daniel Underwood

1902,1903 Mrs Emma Mansell

1906,1927 Thomas Piper

1939 Ernest Rennie

2007 Vanda Woodcock (bar manager)

2003 – 2007 Stephen Hall (The Swan)

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