History of The Swan
The Swan has been a prominent Inn in Thame since Sir John Clerke built it in the early part of the 16th century.
The Clerke family crest is of 3 Swans and it is from this that the Swan Inn most likely takes its name.
The 18th century front hides the much earlier timber framed building that originally had 2 over sailing jetties to the front. Until recent times there was stabling for up to 30-40 horses at the rear stretching back to Wellington Street.
It was not however a true coaching Inn, but one of the venues in Thame that coaches would leave for other local towns on the main coaching routes. During these times a glass roof covered the first or inner courtyard to provide protection for the visitors.
The Swan was a popular eating place for the church wardens with many references in their accounts going back to 1634. This popularity continued into the 1930s where in the large old fashioned kitchen a farmers ordinary was provided on market days for 2 shillings and the bar was used by farmers settling their market transactions. An ordinary was a set meal served communally round a large table.
Originally part of the Earl of Abingdon's estates, Hannah Bennett, a wealthy widow bought the property in 1769 and held it until 1790. The Swan remained in private hands until another widow, Hannah Phillips in 1832, when it was repossessed by William Hall of Oxford. it thus came into the hands of Halls brewery until the late 1970s. In 1985 the whole burgage plot at the rear was redeveloped into what is now Swan Walk and the Swan itself reopened.
Having closed its doors in 2011 the Swan has under gone extensive refurbishment and finally reopened in September 2012 as a welcoming bar to all locals and visitors to Thame, serving local and popular brewery ales and a large selection of lagers, wines, spirits and soft drinks.