Tour Locations | Lavenham: A Walk on the Medieval Side
LOCATION 9 | Lavenham: A Walk on the Medieval Side
Let's stop here opposite the Swan so that it is just to your left for a moment while I tell you a few things about it.
By 1425 the Swan was in existence in the town and is therefore the strongest contender for oldest Inn in Lavenham. It was one of those inns that was a part of the old coach horse routes across the land. The Swan is a delightfully well maintained timbered building and is a great favourite for a delightful picture. The hotel had been one of the jewels in the Trust House Forte hotel chain during the 20th century. There are still always rumours at any time as to which celebrity is staying here. There was a scrum of photographers around the hotel when Claudia Schiffer stayed here to get married nearby. She left shrouded by blankets.
The visible timbers are the product of extensive restoration but still merit a look at the outside and inside if you have the time. Hospitality is available at all times of the day so enquire within. The old world charm of the Swan was carefully created by a man known to all as “Robbie”. He was the manager here at the end of World War II. He introduced the pistols and swords, next to a set of handbells at the bar. On the walls even today you can still see the original signatures of the American servicemen who were based locally and information about the heroes from the air base. Robbie even paid an American airman to paint a large picture of a scantily clothed lady on the ceiling in the public bar, in the same style as those painted on the bombers at the local airfield. Sadly it was removed sometime after the war.
Now move on down the hill to the bus stop ahead.