Kendal The Black Swan Public House
Location : Kendal
Grid Ref SD 514926
Whilst the Black Swan’s name probably only dates from at least 1882 onwards, a map of Kendal dated 1611, clearly shows an inn on the site. It’s therefore one of the earliest recorded inns in the town. The name, according to a Westmorland Gazette article dated 1882, comes from the newly discovered Black Swans of Australia, and the sign at the front of the inn would have originally been a model of one of these birds.
The inn is situated about a hundred yards up Beast Banks just past Wetherspoons and the Cask inn.
Records from 1775 state that the landlord was a Geordie Wilson, the earliest recorded landlord of the Black Swan, or whatever it was called before 1882. When Geordie died, his widow Agnes Lily Wilson took over.
A report of 1892, states that the Black Swan had 5 drinking rooms, had 5 rooms for let and could seat around 30 people in its dining room. It also had stabling for 18 horses.
The inn had a reputation as a troublesome drinking establishment, but as well as rowdy locals, it was used by travellers using the westerly route out of the town.
Words and photos by Matthew Emmott.
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