Real Ale

Real Ale

Swan Hotel

Name: The Swan Hotel

Address: 10, Water Street, Chorley



The Swan Hotel was reputed to be the oldest Inn in Chorley town centre dating back well into the 1700's. Freemasonry has existed in Chorley since the establishment of Atholl Lodge No. 238 and records show that they met at the Swan in 1788. It was situated at the top of Water Street in the shadow of St. Lawrence's parish church; Water Street used to be the main route into the town from the north.  

There is some confusion locally about whether the Swan with Two Necks (see later page) was the original Swan Hotel, although one of the pictures below proves without doubt that they were separate buildings. However, that said, the Swan Hotel was also referred to as the Swan with Two Necks on some directories and clearly its name lived on when the new pub opened in the 1980's.

1835 Directory of Chorley

Listed landlords were Thomas Hindle (1793), Robert Worsley (1818), J Bentley (1822), Henry Bennett (1824), Thomas Withnell (1835-39), John Booth (1841), John Lancaster (1851), Daniel Stansfield (1861), John Lancaster (1865), Richard Brinson (1871), John Lancaster (1872-76), Mary & Alice Lancaster (1879), James Wearden or Worden (1881), James Wearden or Worden (1882), James Mould (1889-91), Peter O'Malia (1901), Mary Alice Lesford (-1908), William Harling (1908) and John Wilson (1936-40).

John Lancaster was a brewer and ran the John Lancaster & Co. Brewery (aka The Swan Brewery) listed between 1861 and 1882, which was situated at No.2 Hollinshead Street opposite the Swan Hotel.


1874  Mannex Directory

He also ran the Swan for a number of years in the mid-1800's as records above show. 

Looking up towards Hollinshead Street from the site of the Swan Hotel c.2015 (now a car park)

1841 Census


1851 Census

The Swan Hotel (right) looking up Water Street

1861 Census

Preston Chronicle 21 August 1861

1871 Census

The Swan Hotel (right) next door to an Edwardian residence
that became the new Swan (with Two Necks) in the 1980's

1881 Census

Preston Chronicle 26 September 1885

The Swan Hotel from Facebook "Chorley Then & Now" Paul Topping

Preston Chronicle 04 July 1885

Baptism: 10 Jan 1890 St George, Chorley, Lancashire, England
George Brown Mould - [Child] of James Mould & Mary
    Born: 17 Sep 1889
    Abode: Swan Hotel water St. Chorley
    Occupation: Mineral Water Manufacturer
    Baptised by: H. Ctian Young
    Register: Baptisms 1887 - 1897, Page 76, Entry 604
    Source: LDS Film 1526078

1891 Census

Top of Water Street c.1900 

1901 Census

Lancashire Evening Post 22 May 1901

St Lawrence's Parish Church
Marriage on 03-Aug-1908
William Harling (29) Bachelor Platelayer of 15 Harper's Lane Chorley
(Father John Harling (deceased) Labourer)
Mary Alice Lesford (41) Widow Hotel Keeper Swan Hotel Chorley
(Father William Holland Contractor)
Witnesses: Henry Birchall, Eliza Ellen Bassnett
Banns D.S. Rennard

1911 Census

On 6th August 1914 the ‘Chorley Terriers’ (D Company of the 1st / 4th Battalion [Territorial Force], Loyal North Lancashire Regiment) marched off to War: the landlord of the Swan in 1911, William Harling was among them having enlisted in the Terriers to fight for his country on the battlefields of Europe.  


Chorley Terriers 1914
He reached the rank of Sergeant and on 15th June 1915 he was tragically killed in battle aged 35 years, leaving behind a wife Mary Alice Harling and his step-children.


Lancashire Evening Post 15 April 1940


Water Street 1975 Culverting the River Chor, Chorley
As the picture above shows, work took place to install a culvert for the River Chor under Park Road from Astley Park and into Water Street in 1975.  It's not clear from the picture whether the Swan was still standing at this time, as it would have been just out of sight to the right. 

The Swan Hotel (right) looking up Water Street

1 comment:

  1. Mary Alice Lesford is described as Hotel Keeper at the Swan Hotel when she married William Harling at St. Laurence's on 3 August 1908. He was only a platelayer, so probably a good move for him!

    ReplyDelete