Swan Hotel, Abergavenny
During the Second World War, American troops took over the Swan Hotel, which was bigger then than now. It had a large ballroom stretching out towards Priory (Beili) Lane at the rear - on the right in the drawing shown here. This had to be supported on special pillars because of the number of people using it. At the end of the war, compensation was paid to the owners and the inn was sold. The new owners decided to remove the supporting pillars and the ballroom collapsed!
The earliest written record of this pub, then named the New Swan, is dated 14 January 1829, when the Society of Tradesmen and Gentlemen Farmers was formed there. There is a record of a Henry Baker as owner of The Swan in 1680 – but there was also a White Swan at the top of this street.
In 1880 the road across Swan Meadows had not yet been made and this inn at the junction of Mill Street and Lower Cross Street was described as a small two-storey building with steps down into the inn from the street and a small yard behind where stage wagons were put.
The risk of flooding from the Cibi Brook and Gavenny River into the lower floor was cured by rebuilding after a major flood in the early 1930s. This raised the floor level and made the steps up to the front entrance that you can see today. The new frontage was further south than the original, whose remnants include an arch inside and a window aperture in the dining room. The old photo shows the frontage before the 1930s rebuilding.
With thanks to Gill Wakley, of Abergavenny Local History Society
Postcode: NP7 5ER View Location Map