Lewis Wilshire / Mark Steeds collection (Courage archives)

Courtesy Andrew Smith / Derek Hore (Courage Archives)

The owners in 1891 were Charlotte Cooke, Elizabeth Orchard and Hester White. The Swan Inn was on the A46, a quarter mile north of the junction with the A420.

CAMRA (Last Guide To Avon’s Ale – 1996) described the Swan Inn as ‘a single bar stone-built country pub with non-smoking restaurant area. Traditional pub games and coin collection. Open all day in summer.’  The Swan, I believe, closed in 2002.

Map reference: ST 744733

Licensing Details:

Owner in 1891: Messrs Cooke, Orchard & White (leased John Arnold & Son, High Street, Wickwar)

Rateable value in 1891: £12.10s.0d.

Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse

Owner in 1903: John Arnold & Son, High Street, Wickwar

Rateable value in 1903: £12.10s.0d.

Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse

Closing time in 1903: 10pm

Landlords at the Swan Inn include:

1837 Charles White, Ag Lab and Alehouse Keeper.

1844 Charles White, Innkeeper

1850 Martha White, Inn Keeper

1851 Martha White, Inn Keeper, White Swan Inn (Census)

1856 John Snell, Landlord (husband of Martha)

1861 John Snell and Eliza White, Inn Keeper, White Swan (Census)

1867 Eliza White to 1873/4.

1881, 1885, 1891 Samuel Bennet (Census)

1891 Charlotte Cooke, Eliza Orchard and Hester White (owners)

1894 Charlotte Cook and Hester White

1897,1902,1903,1906 Thomas Merchant

1919 Miss Emma Merchant

1927,1939 Frank John Long


I am immensely thankful that someone like you takes the trouble to sort out the history of our local pubs. Finding your reference to the Swan filled in a few gaps for me, as a result of which I can see that my great great great grandmother and father Martha and Charles White and their children ran the pub at Pennsylvania for some 45 out of 60 years dating from 1837. Through my research on my own family I am now able to tell you some more about the pub, which started life as an Alehouse some time before 1837.

 The earliest record I have is the baptism of Eliza , daughter of Charles White who was described as being an Ag Lab and Beerhouse Keeper. In those days it was difficult to make brewing a full time occupation because the crops were seasonal and beer didn’t keep. Nevertheless dabbling in the ‘hobby’ of home brewing and sale of beer made a Farm Labourer’s family more comfortable. It was quite usual to make over the front room of the house to the customers when beer was on sale.

Business must have been quite good because by 1844 when his son Enos was born Charles White was described as an Innkeeper . Charles died in 1850 and the business was carried on by his widow Martha and her two eldest daughters Charlotte and Eliza. Charlotte left the Inn soon after hn she married Hawkesbury Upton Pork Butcher John Cook. In the 1851 and 1861 censuses the inn was named the WHITE SWAN but by 1881 it was THE SWAN INN.

Widow Martha remarried late in 1851 to a John Snell who was named in 1856 as the Landlord. In 1861 John and Martha’s daughter Eliza were Innkeepers, presumably until John died in 1867. Martha may have left the Swan then, leaving Eliza in charge because in 1871 she is shown as a Widow and Farmer of 12 acres living at Pennsylvania Cottage. Eliza married William Orchard in 1874 so probably gave up her interest in the pub around that time. Martha died in 1876.

The White family interest in the Inn was reinvigourated in 1891 when Charlotte, now the widow of John Cook, Eliza, still the wife of Wheelwright William Orchard of Marshfield and Hester, the widow of Charlotte’s brother Enos took over the Inn until 1897, when Charlotte and Hester ‘retired’, Charlotte to Market Place, Marshfield with her daughter Rose. Eliza died in 1894. So ended some 60 years of (broken) interest by the founding White family. When I pass it today, as I often do, I say ‘Hi Grandma!’ as a silent salute

 I hope you will find this interesting and be able to use this on your site.

Best wishes

Brian Morgan, Winsley


(Charlotte Cook nee White was my 2xgtgma.)

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