Sort file:- Ashford, April, 2023.

Page Updated Ashford:- Tuesday, 25 April, 2023.


Earliest 1865-

Swan Hotel

Open 2020+

17 Tufton Street (Church Yard Pass 1871Census)


Swan 1897

Above postcard, circa 1897, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. The carriage was almost certainly a cab and is of a type sometimes referred to as a Brougham.

Swan 1966

Above postcard, postmarked 1966, from Chris Cleave.

Swan 1988

Above photo, April 1988, kindly sent by Philip Dymott.

Swan Hotel 2014

Above image from Google maps June 2014.


In 1869-70 the pub was part of a consortium who were advertising their goods of selling tea in response to grocers' selling beer and wine. (Click for further details.)


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette 09 September 1865.


The licenses of the public houses in the Ashford division were renewed. The following new licenses were applied for:—


Mr Langham, solicitor, supported the application of George Cobb, for a license for the "Swan" beershop, the new house built opposite the police-station in Windmill-street.


The Bench retired to consider the applications, and on returning into Court announced that they had decided to refuse all of them with the exception of that for the "Man of Kent." Ashford, kept by William Richard Brown, and for that house they had decided to grant a license.


Kentish Gazette, 29 March, 1870.


Petty Sessions, Tuesday.

Present: Col. Groves, Sir K. Knatchbull, Bart., G. B. Sayer, H. B. Walker, and W. D. Walker, Esqrs.

Wm, John Barnes appeared to summons, charged with wilfully breaking a street lamp in North-street between the night of Match 4th and the morning of March 6th. Mr. Towne, solicitor, prosecuted on behalf of the Ashford Gas Company, and Mr. Dawes, solicitor, defended. The court was crowded to hear the case, owing to the highly respectable position of certain parties supposed to be implicated in the affair.

Mr. Towne staled that for some time past the practice of extinguishing and breaking the public lamps had been carried on in Ashford, and the gas company had taken stringent proceedings to stop it. A ticket collector at the railway station named Knowles was called, and deposed that between twelve and one o'clock he was going home from the station when he passed Mr. Barnes, in North street, and his (witness) head being turned somewhat behind him, as it was a rough night, and the wind blowing in his face, he saw Mr. Barnes throw something at the lamp projecting over Mr. Furley's door, and smash it, and then run off. The next day a brickbat broken in halves was found on the pavement under the lamp. The lamp beyond had also been smashed in a similar manner; and upwards of thirty other lamps extinguished. In cross-examination Knowles said he had only been six weeks in the town, and had never seen Mr. Barnes before; but he was quite positive as to his identity. He saw Mr. Barnes on the following Monday evening at the bar of the "Duke of Wellington Inn," and immediately identified him, and gave information to the manager of the gas works, he did not know at that time that a reward of 5 had been offered for the discovery of the person who broke the lamps. Mr. Dawes called three respectable witnesses to prove an alibi.

Mr. Cobb, landlord of the "Swan Inn," proved that the defendant came to his house at about nine o'clock on the evening of March 4th, and did not leave until past two o’clock the next morning.

Mr. Manser, coachbuilder, and Mr. Chambers, printer, proved that they were in Mr. Barnes's company all the evening; they were having a bottle of wine together, Mr. Barnes being about to leave the town.

The beach dismissed the case, but Col. Groves made some strong remarks with reference to the conduct of Mr. A. Williams, wine merchant, whom the witness Knowles alleged had threatened him with proceedings for perjury.

Mr. Williams said that Knowles had told a lie.


From the By Liane Castle, 6 June 2022.

The Swan pub and Po Thai restaurant in Ashford could become flats under new plans.

Plans to convert an historic pub and Ashford's former Downtown Diner into flats have been submitted.

Developers want to turn The Swan in Tufton Street into eight one-bedroom flats while the former diner, which more recently became restaurant Po Thai, has been earmarked for seven units.

Swan 2022

The Swan in Tufton Street could be converted into eight flats.

The Swan was built in the early 1860s as a home and in 1874 a licence to sell alcohol was approved.

However, since 2017 the owners of the building say they have had three tenants who have been unable to make the business viable.

Documents submitted by Kember Loudon Williams on behalf of applicant Rectory Lane Ltd say the pub has “experienced closure and loss making” over the past few years.

If approved by Ashford Borough Council, the plans would see it converted into eight apartments while a small extension at the back and a shared garden space would be built.

Part of the building would also be covered by a green roof.

Po Thia 2022

Po Thai in Park Street was previously Downtown Diner.

While there would be space for six bicycles, there would be enough parking for only three cars.

Council guidance says there should be a minimum of one space per unit in the town, however, as the site ‘promotes sustainable travel modes’ the reduced parking scheme is seen as acceptable, according to the developers.

Meanwhile, the former diner in Park Street, close to The Panorama, could hold three one-bedroom flats, and four two-bedroom flats.

There are currently only two parking spaces available but this would increase to three if the plans – which have been submitted by applicant Oruc Gurkan – are approved.

Ashford MP Damian Green feels putting the buildings to use is a good thing.

“Having people living in the town centre these days is good because it supports the shops, pubs and restaurants that remain,” he said.

“But you want enough of the shops and pubs so people have somewhere to go. You have to make individual decisions based on the context and the wider offering in the town centre.

“What I hate to see is empty properties so it’s better to put them to some use.

“Having people within walking distance of the shops and restaurants is a good thing, it means there is always life around the town centre.

“It depends on how sympathetically they’re changed. The Swan is a nice building and I hope the essentials of the building are preserved.”

Before Po Thai opened in 2016, the building was the Press Rooms.



COBB George 1865-91+ (age 31 in 1871Census)

BALLARD Edward 1901-03+ (age 49 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

CLIFFORD Daniel Ordish 1913+

WARDELL George 1922+

GREEN Alfred 1930-38+


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903



If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-