The Swan is located at right angles to the A48 midway between the villages of Woolaston to the west and Alvington to the east. The Swan has a pleasant aspect beside the Cone Brook. In the past the fast running stream has been used to power forges, paper mills and forges. No doubt the Swan was once frequented by mill workers. The history of the pub can be traced back to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Thomas Taylor was the owner of the Swan Inn in 1891 and 1903 when the annual rateable value of the alehouse was £15.7s.0d. and it was free of brewery tie. It closed at 10 pm.
The Citizen: 17th February 1977 – Pub Honour: The Swan Inn at Alvington near Lydney has raised £1,064 for muscular dystrophy research in a 12-week period which ended last month. This placed the pub 16th overall in the national contest sponsored by Sir Richard Attenborough, president of the Muscular Dystrophy Group. Licensees Carol and Chris Pullen and their customers were competing against 900 pubs throughout the country, most of which were in bigger centres than Alvington. The inn will be presented with an inscribed salver and tankard to mark the effort put in.
Forest of Dean & Ross-on-Wye Pubs. A critical guide by Jon Hurley (booklet, 1991): Further along the same [A48] road, (this has got to be the best stretch in the book for above average pubs), if one resists the Blacksmith’s charms, another decent place to go for lunch or even dinner is the Bass owned Swan. It is set away from the road and pleasantly decorated with enough brasses and copper things to fill a scrapyard, and there are comfortable seats, wooden beams and a harmless (no pun) one armed bandit. The menu, while not quite as outrageously original as the Blacksmith’s, is very reasonably priced and goodies like Garlic Sausage and Chips and our indispensable friend Chilli Con Carne, are very cheap and well presented. The beers [from Bass] are not surprisingly Charrington IPA, Toby and Worthington.
In 1999 the Swan Inn looked as if the fortunes of the pub were on the rise. There was a quiz night on Thursday, a bar disco on the second Friday of each month and karaoke on the first Sunday of every month. An article in the local press stated that ‘there is also a Tuesday night special, with two steaks and a bottle of wine costing a tenner – a saving of £20!’ ‘Things are also on the move outside the pub. The little stream has been cleaned out to provide a perfect setting for the extensive gardens and patio, and there is now space for five caravans for holiday makers visiting the district or passing through.’ The landlady added: “I like to think we are offering something for everyone – we even have a model railway club who are making their own layout here. It’s certainly getting busier and we are always pleased to welcome customers old and new.”
In April 2003 the Swan Inn was on the market – leasehold capital required £24,000. It was described as a main road destination inn enjoying exceptional setting, two good bars, restaurant (30), three bedrooms. Beer garden and car park. ‘Ideal ‘beginners’ house with favourable 10 year premium lease’. It was being sold by Admiral Taverns along with 19 other pubs in their portfolio.
The Swan Inn closed in the first week of September 2009. A farewell party was held late in August. Regulars were upset about losing two neighbouring pubs [The Globe] in a matter of months. A local Councillor lamented that ‘If the Swan closed for good, the Blacksmiths Arms would be the only pub left in the village, but added ‘It’s a real shame that pubs are going out of business but it’s a sign of the times. Pubs everywhere face exorbitant rents and cheap supermarket booze’.
In June 2010 an application was submitted to Forest of Dean District Council for ‘listed building consent for conversion, alterations and extensions to existing public house to licensed tea rooms with bed and breakfast facilities and living accommodation. (Part demolition of rear extensions).’ A spokesman for the FoD District Council said that ‘it is important to the applicant that the heritage of the Swan Inn should be respected and the character of the Grade 2 listed building should be retained.
The pub is now the Swan House Tea Rooms. Their website describes it as ‘the perfect venue to enjoy a morning coffee, glass of wine with a light lunch, cream tea or delicious home-made cake. Afternoon tea is our speciality. Fully licensed.’
For contact information Google Swan House Tea Room.
Landlords at the Swan Inn include:
1856 John James
1863 James Wiliams (also employed as a Fisherman)
1885 John Davis
1891 Thomas Taylor (owner)
1894 Edward Davis (Edward was tragically killed in the Boer War)
1897 Abraham Davis
1903 William R. Estcourt (owner Thomas Taylor)
1930 Mrs N.E. Estcourt
1939 William Escourt
1973,1984 Christopher & Carol Pullen
1989 John McSevney (manager), Jack Curtis and Brian Owen (owners)n
1999 Jennie Linham
2000 Trevor and Betty Morgan