The history of The Swan goes back to at least 1633 and for all the period between then and 1834 it was owned by the various Lords of the Manor. Click here to read about the earlier history Click here to read about the building
On this page we cover the people associated with running the Swan between 1834 and 1899.
Frances Gayner – Frances bought the Swan Hotel in June 1834 for £1000 and she continued running the hotel until her death in 1872 at the age of 72. During that time she made The Swan the most important hotel in the Town used for public meetings and the meetings of the Courts and the Corporation. It was also the centre of social life in Thornbury with dances, concerts and auctions. The advertisement on the left calls the inn a “posting house”. Click here to read about it as a posting house and coaching inn
Frances was born Frances Penduck, the daughter of Samuel Penduck and his wife, Fanny (nee Child). She married Charles Gayner in Thornbury on 25th June 1820 who become an innkeeper at The Crown Inn at 25 High Street. Charles died on 1st September 1828 aged 28 and Frances continued running the pub there until at least 1832. Click here to read more about Charles and Frances
Samuel Crew – the Gloucestershire Pubs website shows that Samuel was landlord at The Swan from 1872 to 1876 although we know from various newspaper reports and other sources that he was there until 1880.
Samuel had been a publican at some other premises before taking over The Swan. In 1862 he had been at The Black Lion in Castle Street and by 1867 he had moved to the White Lion in the High Street. He left that pub in 1869 and the 1871 census shows him at the Albion Beer House in Peckham.
In January 1873 Samuel’s father, William Crew who was living in Cromhall bought the Swan Hotel on the High Street in Thornbury as a residence for Samuel for £1450. William’s time at The Swan was fairly eventful and he got into trouble on a few occasions with the police. Click here to read more about Samuel Crew
Following William’s death in 1880 The Swan was sold to Austin Grove.
Austin Carwardine Freeman Grove – the 1880 Rate Book indicates that Austin had taken over ownership of The Swan from the representatives of William Crew in 1880. Austin took over the running of the hotel from Samuel Crew. The Petty Sessional Court records show that Austin was the owner and licensee in 1881. Later in that year the ownership and license were transferred to Richard Quin. The 1880 Rate Book also shows that Austin had inherited the three properties on the site of 59/61 St Mary Street which had previously been owned by his grandfather, John Carwardine and which subsequently passed to Nicholas and Julia Grove.
Austin was the son of Nicholas Cornock Grove and his wife, Julia (nee Carwardine). He was baptised in Thornbury on 19th January 1859. The 1871 Census shows that he was at a boarding school in Westbury on Trym in Bristol. In 1880 the Bristol Mercury of July 28th gave his address as Thornbury Farm when he won highly commended for his pigs!
Following his father’s death in 1877 and then his mother’s death in 1878, Austin was left their moiety in property at Thornbury Farm and the three properties which later became 59 and 61 St Mary Street. Initially the property was put into trust until he became 21 on 6th March 1879.
In December quarter 1880 Austin married Elizabeth Codrington in the Barton Regis area of Bristol. Elizabeth was the daughter of William Codrington and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Trotman) of the Portcullis in Chipping Sodbury.
The 1881 census shows Austin was hotel keeper at The Swan in the High Street. He was living with Bessie aged 20 from Sodbury and her sister, Annie aged 16 and a general servant Ellen Derrick aged 18 from Parkwell in Somerset.
We know from the deeds of Thornbury Farm and the St Mary Street property that Austin owed at least £400 plus interest with his property as security. When he was unable to repay he was forced to sell all his property. On 21st April 1881 Austin Carwardine Grove sold the properties in St Mary Street to Sidney Ponting. Austin gave up running The Swan in 1881. The notice advertising the sale of The Swan dated 21st September 1881 says that Austin was having to give it up because of ill health. It didn’t find a buyer immediately and Richard Quin took over the tenancy. When it was advertised for sale again on 14th June 1882 Richard became the owner as well as the occupant. We don’t know what happened to Austin. He died in Edmonton area of London aged 66. He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 30th January 1925.
Richard Quin – Richard took over The Swan in 1881, initially as the tenant of Austin Grove. When the property was put up for sale again in June 1882 Richard bought the property. He sold the property to the Anglo Bavarian Brewery in 1890, although he continued as landlord there until 1899. Click here to read more
From 1899 onwards The Swan was owned by various brewery companies and ‘pubcos’.