The Swan Pub Wheathampstead
The Swan Wheathampstead is a 15th century building situated in the pretty village of Wheathampstead. Surrounded with interesting countryside and Shaws corner just nearby. The Heritage trail is an interesting walk around our village, with plaques giving details of buildings and age. Traditional pub Lunch and a coffee is served everyday.
Where to find us
In July 2013 there was a fire in the building and in October of that year a survey was conducted, revealing all sorts about the history of the building.
The building itself was a late medieval open hall with the additions of a parlour range in the early 17th Century. Fortunately many of the original timbers were salvageable and the bulk of the worst damage was done to the upper chambers, which were put in around 1900. However, the pub underwent a drastic restoration to return it to its former glory.
The historic core of the building is clearly discernible as a two-bay open hall of early 16th century date; the bays being of unequal size and formerly bisected by an arched, open frame with hollow chamfered braces which survive at upper level. A further bay to the south, now occupied by the bar was most probably the parlour with a chamber above, contemporary with the hall.
This suggests an original layout in the classic late medieval manner, with hall, parlour and service ranges. The evidence to the north hints at its use as a service range, but being hardly damaged by the fire, there is less exposed timber to make an adequate assessment. The timber which remains exposed elsewhere however, allows a reconstruction, with some accuracy, of the original framing pattern. This was of fairly wide-spaced studwork above and below mid-rails, once augmented with downward braces, and pierced by unglazed windows, of which a single example is indicated by empty mortices in the mid-rail soffit. Similar studwork patterning can be seen in other buildings in Wheathampstead, suggesting a local tradition.
The roof of the medieval core appears to have been replaced in the southern bay, possibly after the fire of 1900, and ironically this modern roof has suffered almost complete destruction a second time. However, the northern bay preserves several original common rafter-couples, which were once triangulated by collars to illustrate the general form. We can assume that there were wind-braces to a pair of purlins, but these are no longer present in either bay. However, they confirm the form of the roof as Tudor in origin, and most probably early 16th century.
If you have any more questions ask at the bar..
Also check our facebook page, we post events and which ales are being served on a regular basis.