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Carshalton’s Long Forgotten Pub – The Old Swan Ale House

The Old Swan Ale House Carshalton

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.

The Old Swan Ale House Carshalton

*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. 

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robcastles

For a while, the part on the left was a ladies hairdressers in the 1950s . And the right-hand side was a builders yard.

Mags Stubberfield

The middle entrance was a builders yard, but the right hand side was residential, in the late 1800’s Reverend Fothergill lived here, he married a Miss Salmon & renamed the house ‘Gilmon House’ taking a syllable from each of their names.

Terry Phipps

The Swan Inn on the corner of old swan yard hasn’t been demolished it is now a private house.

Lazystuff

Thanks Terry, I’ve now updated the post to reflect this. The building has been heavily redeveloped, and I’d always assumed it has simply been rebuilt in a similar style.

Terry Phipps

My Grandfather Tom Preen took it over about 1912 & converted it part house part timber merchant it was taken over by Daniel Thompson on Toms death & became near derelict in the early 1970’s

Lazystuff

If you were able to share any photos of The Swan Inn that would be great. We were thinking about illustrating it, but I can’t see any photos of the right of the building. It had a wooden porch at the front once, and it looks like it once had a chimney stack running up the outside of the building.

Mags Stubberfield

I was googling today & found this Blog, well done Lazystuff.com for bringing The Old Swan Alehouse back to life again, I love your imagination & interest in these long lost pubs, & an important part of Carshalton’s history too, having lived here for nearly 50 years, the secret is finally out in the open ……….?

robcastles

For comparison, it’s interesting to note that in St Albans for example, there were 4 pubs at one time with the same Red Lion name: https://www.stalbanshistory.org/social-history/industry/a-confusion-of-red-lions

Last edited 1 month ago by robcastles
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