London Colney

The Swan Inn

September, 2005


Allan Mayzes (al.mayzes @t of Edgware, Middlesex, writes: I am 35 years old born in Luton, Bedfordshire, but now live in Edgware. My father, grandmother, and great grandmother were all born in the St Albans area. My query is that on my grandmothers Margaret Stewart birth certificate it states that she was born in "The Swan, London Colney, St Peters Rural R.d" but what is the Swan, is it a pub, or house? has it been renamed? is it still standing?

Her father was a Alick Stewart who was in the "Buffaloes Lodge" of St Albans. Her mother was Louisa Faulkner. and Margaret's grandfather was Ernest Faulkner whose father had "The Bull Inn" pub in Shenley in the 1881 census. Ernest married Mary Atkins from London Colney. The Atkins were connected with "The Bell" pub in London Colney

The Swan Inn was "a pub" for over 300 years and was originally a coaching inn, as the following references show: 

1657: One of the bounds of the manor of Tittenhanger. Hertfordshire Inns (Part 2)

1756: Had stabling for 70 horses. Hertfordshire Inns (Part 2)

1773: One of the bounds of the manor of St Peter, St Albans. Hertfordshire Inns (Part 2) 

1839 Pigot's Directory: William Atkins was landlord of the Swan at London Colney.

Before 1844: Owned by Salter & Woodman of Rickmansworth. Hertfordshire Inns (Part 2)

1851 census John Dickinson, 70, born Aldenham, Herts, was at the Swan (Identified via 1851 Post Office Directory) and is described as a "shoemaker and publican" and they had five lodgers. He is described as victualler "Swan" and shoemaker in Craven's 1854 directory and is also listed there in the 1855 Post Office Directory and the 1863 Dank's Directory.

1866 Post Office Directory: Walter James, White Swan, London Colney.

Jenny Wakefield (famhist @t supplied the following in August 2006: In 1876 Frederick John Rudelhoff (previously from Johnson St. London) was the publican (as stated on his daughter Jeannie's birth certificate dates 5th January 1876). His wife at the time was Emma (nee Ward) I don't know how long he had been there, but he died in 1876 a few months after his daughter's birth.

The 1874 directory may indicate whether Frederick had moved there that early.

1878 Post Office Directory: Richard Ulyatt listed at the White Swan.

1881 census: George Maynard, 38, was publican. His wife and six children were with him, and as the youngest child was only one year old and born in Kent (as were the other children) he had probably only been the landlord for a short time. He is listed in the 1882 Kelly's Directory.

1886 Kelly's Directory: Benjamin Looker, Swan Public House, London Colney. He was also listed in 1902. He was presumably there in the 1891 and 1901 censuses but I haven't checked.

Thomas Wright at the Swan Inn, London Colney, 1904/5  

The Swan Inn

London Colney


With the landlord

Thomas Wright sitting with his dog..


Picture  & background information

kindly provided by

Arlene Wright

Thomas Wright Sr. was the proprietor of the Navigation Inn, Stoke Prior from 1885 1903, from the age of 44 to the age of 62. (Ref: The Bromsgrove Almanack and Directory between 1881  1905). A letter written in 1904 by Mr. I. C. Probert, Engineer of the Salt Union Ltd., Worchestershire gives a testimonial of Thomas's upright character.

 "I have known Mr Thos. Wright, formerly of the Navigation Inn, Stoke Prior, for about five years. I have always found him honest & straight forward steady sober man and according to my judgement just what an inn keeper should be & I am pleased to bear testimony to this."

However, Thomas was not to run this pub for very long as his death certificate records that Thomas Wright, licensed victualler, died at the Swan Inn of a stroke, in his 64th year, on May 23, 1905. It is believed that he is buried in St. Peter's Churchyard, London Colney, but the grave site is unrecorded.

1908 & 1912 Kelly's Directories: Robert Abbey, Swan Public House, London Colney

1914 & 1917 Kelly's Directories: George William Taylor, Swan Public House, London Colney

1922 & 1926 Kelly's Directories: Mrs Georgina Taylor, Swan Public House, London Colney

1929 Kelly's DirectoryHenry Reginald Blissett, Swan Public House, London Colney, phone 614X2

1937 Kelly's Directory: Hugh Edward Sanders, Swan Public House, London Colney, phone 41

1949: Kelly's Directory for St Albans: The Swan Inn (Victor Charles Gunn) 6 High Street, London Colney, phone 3197.

1963: An Ind Coope house. Hertfordshire Inns (Part 2)

1966 Kelly's Directory for St Albans: The Swan Inn is listed as 6 High Street, London Colney, phone 3197.

1971: Closed. Hertfordshire Inns & Public Houses

1984: No 6 High Street not listed as an important old building. Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest

I have no information on the building's current status. 

September 2007

Swan Public House, London Colney, circa 1950

Wally Vernon (wallyvernon @t writes: The Swan P.H. was demolished shortly after it's closure. A block of three terraced houses now stand in it's place. A local property developer Martin Ricketts owns two of them which are duly rented out, the other being owned by Mr.Eric Bedford. The London Colney Local History Society has various photographs dating from the early 1900's of which I can obtain copies to enter on this site shortly.  The pub's garden which was to the right of the building, now houses three garages with associated parking for these properties.

Thank you very much for the picture of the old public house

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

Page Updated September 2007