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Wiltshire Community History

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Question Date :

Tuesday 13th December 2005 11:00

I am interested in the history of The Old Swan Inn in Sherston - when it was built, who occupied it etc. I understand it was renamed the Swan Commercial Inn and was used for auctions etc and may have been the location of the village whipping post. Can you help - also - where will any records for the building be held?

The Swan was the largest inn in Sherston and in the 18th and 19th centuries attracted coach trade and also operated passenger services to local villages. The building is late 16th and early 17th century and it is quite likely that it was an inn from those times. It was restored in the 19th century. It is impossible to say who built it but you would be able to obtain names of some of the later licensees from ale house recognizances in the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office and from Kelly's Directories in the County Local Studies Library, both in Trowbridge. Like many inns it was used for auctions, property sales and meetings in the 18th and 19th centuries. The name was changed to the Swan Commercial Hotel in the 1860s. It is the Swan in the 1859 directory, when James Lessiter was there, and the Swan Commercial and Posting House in 1867, by which time Henry Osborne Neal had taken over.

It closed between 1931 and 1935. The whipping post was found in an upstairs room at the Swan but this does not necessary mean that it was sited outside, although it was likely to have been in a prominent position in the market place, now the High Street. Any surviving records should be in the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office - www.wiltshire.gov.uk/wsro




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