Swan Hotel

From Historical Hastings Wiki

The Swan Hotel was a large inn/hotel situated on the High Street. It had over 300 feet of frontage, extending from Oak Hill, almost up to St Clements Church, occupying the block almost up to Hill Street and could provide stabling facilities for fifty horses[1]

Early Days[edit | edit source]

The earliest reference to the Swan is in 1523 when a John Levet of Holyngton occupied a property known as 'Le Swanne', in this portion of the High Street. There was a devastating fire recorded in the High Street during the 16th century, which this building survived.[2]

Licensees[edit | edit source]

An early reference to the Swan is by the name of the licensed premises that formed part of the complex, the Swan Shades in 1722, being in the possession of two men, Richardson and Carlton and described as being a brewery, coach house and stable yard.[3] On the 5th of April 1771, the Swan Hotel was taken over by Thomas Hovenden (ex. The George at Rye)[4] It was taken over in 1827 by a widow, Mercy Grove, who with her second husband, Richard Halsted in 1829 became listed as the licensee. Mercy's daughter then sold the premises to John Collier upon her parent's demise.[3]

1889 Rebuild[edit | edit source]

The original late medieval building was demolished and rebuilt in 1889. The rebuild involved moving the Swan Inn to a much smaller plot on the corner and building housing (including Swan Avenue) on part of the site. The pub was destroyed by enemy action on May 23rd 1943.

Post WW2[edit | edit source]

Due to the large loss of life on this site during WW2, the bombed site was cleared in late 1952 and converted into a memorial garden featuring a sundial with the names of those who had lost their lives on the pedestal[5]


Footnotes (including sources)[edit]

  1. Hastings & St Leonards Observer 03 March 1888 pg. 3
  2. Swan and Swan Shades: Swan and Swan Shades, accessdate: 7 December 2019
  3. 3.03.1 Hastings & St Leonards Observer 23 Mar 1889 pg. 3
  4. Kentish Gazette Tuesday 30 April 1771.
  5. Hastings & St Leonards Observer 08 November 1952 pg. 1