The earliest recorded date of there being a tavern here was 1576: ‘Mistress Eln Rede, wedow (sic) was taxed for her tenement called Taverne late William Redes and Thomas Redes: 10 pence’. As the Redes died in 1543 and 1540 respectively, the Swan House in it’s earliest form must have predated 1540.
In 1587, the yearly rent was recorded as 8 shillings and 2 pence (about 40p or half a Euro). Originally the Tavern, as it was then known, consisted of what is now just the dining room. Floor-traps accessed the cellars and an almost circular oak staircase located alongside the inglenook fireplace, wound it’s way to the room above and up again to the attic. By the 18th century the Tavern had in all but name become a small coaching inn offering accommodation in Beccles, possibly absorbing the land to the east occupied by the old prison, which ceased by 1654.
Various buildings were added as well as four stables and a hay loft situated in the south side of the courtyard. By 1766 the ‘Tavern’ had changed it’s name to the ‘Swan’ and once more to the ‘White Swan’. On 19th July of that year the ‘Norwich Mercury’ advertised: ‘To let with a small part of the stock, the White Swan, public house in Beccles in the centre of town near the new hall, with a large stable, coach-house’. In 1882 Swan House was sold for £600. From the 1960’s to 1980’s the building was used as a tea room and later a fashion and gift shop. Roland Blunk, the previous owner, bought Swan House in 1985 and converted it into a restaurant in 1993 and to a boutique hotel in 2012. The building, although in a form inconceivable in the 16th century, became a full circle.
Art @ Swan House
John Patchett IEA
An exhibition of pastel paintings, which has been carefully selected to show a wide range of different subjects and techniques that best sum up the work of local professional artist, John Patchett. He advocates working on location whenever possible and strives to capture light conditions and the essence of a place, at various times of day or months of the year. Besides holding 49 successful solo shows in Australia and England, John Pratchett’s distinctive pastel paintings have been exhibited in Japan, New Zealand, ‘The Royal Society of Marine Artists’, ‘The Institute of East Anglian Artists’ and ‘The Pastel Society’. Feel free to visit and spend time enjoying the paintings, not to mention the wonderful array of culinary delights, delicacies and beverages that are available. For further information about John’n paintings, art classes. his availability for demonstrations, critiques and workshops, please call 01502 710491, or email firstname.lastname@example.org