I’m a bit obsessed with history. In my opinion this is one of the most fascinating historical buildings in the heart of old Carshalton village, because it’s a pub that no-one (well, hardly anyone) seems to know about, and it’s barely mentioned in the history books. It’s often confused with The Swan Inn that stood further along the road, but this 18th century building pre-dates that entirely.
What amazes me most is that some of the original building in West Street still stands, unlike many, many others of the lost and demolished pub buildings in the area. It’s one of only 4 old pub buildings still standing in and around Carshalton village – of the 11 old pub buildings that are known to have existed. It was only rediscovered in 2011 by accident, with the help of local historian John Phillips.
Infact I’m so fascinated by it I’ve imagined what The Old Swan Ale House may have looked like if it was still operating today.
*Please note these illustrations may not be copied or reproduced without prior permission
Built in 1740, here’s some current pics of the building shown from the front, along with some very evocative and pubby shots from the rear of the property. The property was no longer a pub by 1867. The later 19th century The Swan Inn just along the road, on the corner of The Old Swan Yard ceased trading in 1908 and has since been converted into residential property.
We’ll be updating this blog post with more historical detail later. Please follow us on social media for updates.
With special thanks to Maggie Stubberfield for uncovering the story and for allowing us to share it, and who has the Court Rolls to provide evidence of this find. Also thanks to Colin Castledine for providing the large photograph of the front of the building.
*Please note, these drawings are based on what the building currently looks like, and the original pub building may have looked different. The illustration helps us imagine what it was like to have another Swan pub in the village. We have plans to illustrate some more of Carshalton’s lost pubs in the future. Please leave comments about this post below so I can track your feedback and make any corrections as necessary.