Welcome to www.worthingpubs.com, dedicated to researching the history of our local pubs.

This study is ongoing and we welcome contributions, stories, pictures etc that will expand our knowledge and bring back memories of times past.
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The site of the Swan can be tracked back to the late 17th century -  a dwelling place, barn and 25 acres of land owned by Ferdinando Lindup, a yeoman of the area - a Yeoman being someone who works his own land. It eventually ended up in the hands of Richard Lindup, who built a more substantial property in around 1790

In 1842, the building became a lodging house and by 1849 it had become an ‘Inn’.

1890: Worthing’s inspector of nuisances was called to investigate overcrowding at a common lodging house (The Swan Inn) in the High Street. He was shocked to find no segregation of the sexes and was met by foul and abusive language by the occupiers who set their dog on to him.
(Worthing Sentinel)

In 1938, it was enlarged, re-fronted and modernised.
In 1891, James Stone is listed as publican and coal merchant

 The picture below seems to imply it may have been called the White Swan at one time.


Marjory Batchelor and her husband Bert, took over the Swan on November 1960. Marjory wrote a book entitled 'My Life Behind Bars', detailing a fascinating look back at times long forgotten in the trade. Due to Bert's ill health, they had to give up the Swan just four years later.

Marjory continued to work mornings at the nearby Railway Hotel (the Lennox) and later at a hotel opposite the station itself (the Central Hotel), which featured a drag night each Friday!



This picture had been bugging me for some time. The scene depicted is that of a public water tank. One of many that were placed around Worthing during the time of the typhoid epidemic that struck in 1893. It was unsafe to drink from the normal water supply due to sewage contamination.

left - a picture of the old high street.

What caught my eye was the word *'ENTIRE' on the building on the left. The sort of thing you could only find in a pub, with the only pubs in that area being the Swan and the Anchor (later The Jack Horner).

I showed this picture to David, the author of the Quaffer  (PDF) and editor of Sussex Drinker, a CAMRA publication, whilst chatting over a pint at the Selden Arms in Worthing. We solved the mystery that evening.


Picture one on the right,  shows the word 'entire'. Picture two is a sign saying J Loveland Chimney Sweep. Picture three shows a  large house in the background. The first thing then,  was to establish that it was actually the High Street.

Searching Kelly's street directory of 189, we found two Lovelands, both chimney sweeps, possibly father and son. One resided in  Chapel Street (later Portland Road) and the other, John, at 102 High Street.


This, in our minds, confirmed that it was indeed the High Street, but which end? It was clear there was a bend to the left - assuming the picture was taken looking north. David pointed out that as the picture was over exposed, using the shadows to estimate its position and time of day would be unreliable.

We then concentrated on the large house in the background. The main feature was the central door and window positions - most notably the curve above the windows.



Using a map of 1896 we soon discovered that there was only  one possible camera position that would capture all three buildings in the correct position.

A problem with photography of that time was distortion. Early optical lenses tended to have a wide angle quality, making streets seem wider than they actually were. Depth of field also caused distant objects to appear closer.




We got a result at last! Looking at an old picture of the Swan, we could clearly see a building in the background that had a curve above the upper floor windows. A symmetrical design of five windows with a central door, just about clinched it for us. Later research revealed this building to be a villa called 'The Hollies' circa 1810.

It is clear now, that the original picture is of the Swan public house. It was re-fronted in 1938 and I had assumed the abutment was added then, but it's clearly shown as existing back in 1893. It was probably rebuilt, as there is a change in window style to that of arched.


David has since worked out that the signage on the Swan's
wall probably had 'The White Swan' at the top and underneath, ABBEY & SON'S. Kemp Town Brewery traded under that name.

The word ENTIRE is clearly visible, but I should imagine other words such as Porter, Stout and Fine Ales are also there but hidden by the foliage behind the flint wall.



"IT is necessary to state, that every publican has two sorts of beer sent to him from the brewer; the one is called mild, which is beer sent out fresh as it is brewed; the other is called old; that is, such as is brewed on purpose for keeping, and which has been kept in store a twelve-month or eighteen months. 

The origin of the beer called entire, is thus related by the editor of the Picture of London: “Before the year 1730, the malt liquors in general use in London were ale, beer, and two-penny; and it was customary to call for a pint, or tankard, of half-and-half, i. e. half of ale
and half of beer, half of ale and half of two-penny. 

In course of time it also became the practice to call for a pint or tankard of three-threads, meaning a third of ale, beer, and two-penny; and thus the publican had the trouble to go to three casks, and turn three cocks, for a pint of liquor.  To avoid this inconvenience and waste, a brewer of the name of Harwood conceived the idea of making a liquor, which should partake of the same united flavours of ale, beer, and two-penny; he did so, and succeeded, calling it entire, or entire butt, meaning that it was drawn entirely from one cask or butt; and as it was a very hearty and nourishing liquor, and supposed to be very suitable for porters and other working people, it obtained the name of porter.” 


Fredrick Accum, A Treatise on Adulterations of Food... (1820 edition)


Known Landlords

1841 - George Goatcher. Lodging house keeper
1851 - 1861 Licensed lodging house keeper (White Swan)
1897 - Frank Goulding
1901 - William Dean (beer & lodging house)
1931 - Mrs Dean
1950 - 1960 Roy & Gwen Cook
1960 - 1964 Herbert and Marjory Thursby
1964 - Marjory Batchelor (Widow Thursby)