Building record MYO4080 - The Swan Public House


Public House. Mid C19, with 1936 remodelling of the interior by Leeds architects' practice, Kitson, Parish, Ledgard & Pyman for brewers Joshua Tetley & Son Ltd of Leeds. Rendered brick (painted white), slate roof, brick stacks.


Grid reference Centred SE 6022 5110 (18m by 12m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Public House. Mid C19, with 1936 remodelling of the interior by Leeds architects' practice, Kitson, Parish, Ledgard & Pyman for brewers Joshua Tetley & Son Ltd of Leeds. Rendered brick (painted white), slate roof, brick stacks.

PLAN: Narrow street frontage to Bishopgate Street, with small lobby on south side opening into a corridor running the length of the building and widening out in front of the main counter of the central servery to form a 'drinking lobby'. Servery also has side hatches for the public bar to the front and smoke room to the rear of the building. Out-sales department behind servery with separate entrance on Clementhorpe. Staircase to first-floor accommodation, with steps to cellar beneath, at rear of corridor, with separate toilets for men and women beyond the smoke room.

EXTERIOR: 2 storeys with cellars; Bishopgate Street elevation of two bays abuts short terrace of six houses and a corner shop on its right (S) side, Clementhorpe elevation has gable wall with brick coping, six ground-floor bays and a further three-bay single-storey, flat-roofed section to the left (E). Bishopgate Street elevation has a wide doorway in bay 2, with moulded architrave, painted black. Two steps and two-panelled double doors, with rectangular overlight, with modern coloured leaded glass of swan. Wide, six-light casement window to bay 1 with moulded architrave, painted black, and rectangular leaded panes. Chamfered corner to ground floor. Two first-floor windows with projecting sills and modern two-light casements. Square timber gutter on brackets. Tall brick stack to south side. Clementhorpe elevation has doorway in 4th bay of main house, with moulded architrave, painted black. One step, four-panelled door with rectangular overlight with rectangular leaded panes. Narrow window to either side with two-light casements. Four-light casement windows to 1st, 2nd, and 6th bays. All ground-floor windows in main house have moulded architraves, painted black, and rectangular leaded panes. Four first-floor windows with projecting sills and modern 2-light casements. Relief swan panel between 3rd and 4th windows with THE SWAN in modern relief lettering beneath. Tall rendered brick stack to east side. Single-storey section has three single-light windows with projecting sills; outer windows have ventilation grilles above glass. Metal fencing to roof and brick retaining wall to side elevation, two storeys to rear.

INTERIOR: Many fixtures and fittings from 1936 scheme survive. Inner lobby has panelled double doors with lights to the upper sections and a narrow rectangular overlight, all with rectangular leaded panes. Public bar and smoke room both have fielded-panel doors with bottom-hinged opening overlights with rectangular leaded panes. Similar door with fixed, rectangular leaded overlight to first-floor staircase. 2-panelled doors to toilets, painted white. Servery has glazed screenwork over the main counter, side hatches, and out-sales hatch of rectangular leaded panes. Borrowed light between smoke room and corridor with rectangular leaded panes. Terrazzo flooring to the corridor and drinking lobby, and public bar. Fitted bench seating to public bar and smoke room, with bell-push rail in smoke room. Lobby and out-sales have square cream and green tiles. Toilets have white rectangular tiles with black tile coping and narrow ribbon bands of black and white. Porcelain urinals. Simple moulded cornice to corridor, drinking lobby, public bar, and smoke room, with picture rails to public bar and smoke room. Dado panelling with tiled frieze above to corridor and drinking lobby is more recent addition. C19-style fire surround in smoke room is probable replacement.

HISTORY: The Swan is known to have been a beerhouse since 1861, although it was not until 1896 that trade directories identified the proprietor's main business as 'beer retailer (on)' rather than 'grocer' as previously. Joshua Tetley's, the largest of the pre-war West Riding brewers, acquired the pub in 1899. No plans have been found prior to the 30s alterations, but licensing records of 1902 indicate that it had a smoke room, dram shop, and bottle & jug department. Tetley's commissioned the partnership of Kitson, Parish, Ledgard & Pyman to undertake the majority of the company's architectural work between the Wars. The practice was founded in the mid-1920s and became a leading commercial practice in Leeds, responsible for some of the city's noted civic and commercial buildings of that period. They established a 'house style' for the company, making use of generously proportioned varnished joinery in their pub interiors, with clear, rectangular leaded lights in screenwork, windows and overlights. The Swan's present layout conforms to the architects' drawing for a proposed ground-floor plan dated 1936.

The Swan is included on the CAMRA National Inventory of Pub Interiors of Outstanding Heritage Interest

NMR Source
World Wide Web page
Higginbotham, Peter. 2000. The Workhouse.<> [Accessed 18-OCT-2006]

The CAMRA Natonal Inventory of Pub Interiors of Outstanding Heritage Interest, <> [Accessed 28-FEB-2005]

NMR, 2019, NMR data (Digital archive). SYO2214.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.

Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Oct 19 2023 3:54PM


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