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.
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)