The Black Swan Inn / Bed and Breakfast, York
Welcome to the historic Black Swan Pub. Restaurant, Accommodation and Live Entertainment...
The Black Swan Inn, York
The Black Swan offers pub lunches at competitive prices, folk music on a Thursday evening and two beautifully converted en-suite bedrooms bedrooms each with a separate annex to accommodate one or two children. Why not accommodate the family for a night or two with the spirits of The Black Swan.
The function room decorated in it’s own chiaroscuro is available for wedding receptions, special occasions and business meetings.
Opening times: Monday – Saturday 12 noon – 11.00pm Sunday 12 noon – 10.30pm
History of The Black Swan
It’s as if history has placed a preservation order on this pub, for The Black Swan in Peasholme Green, promotes the meaning of "authenticity".
Step through the solid oak front door, itself a little masterpiece of bygone craftsmanship, and you will be visiting a distinguished medieval timber framed house, which retains a classical 17th century interior. And what an interior! The large stairway, in original creaking oak, leads off the main passageway. Another room has a roasting pit. A smaller room has a giant open fireplace. The 17th century craftsmanship didn’t worry too much about the horizontal and vertical lines and as such the slanted door cases, steps, beams and windows simply add to the distinctive character.
The Black Swan was originally built in 1417 as a family residence. The gable ends were added in the 16th Century. However the main structural alterations were secured in the 17th century.
For several generations it was home to the Bowes family. William Bowes became Lord Mayor of York in 1417 and again in 1428, whilst Sir Martin Bowes established himself as a goldsmith in the City of London during the reign of Henry VII in 1545 and later rose to the position of jeweller to Queen Elizabeth. Whilst Lord Mayor of London in 1545 he interceded with the York authorities to preserve St. Cuthbert’s Church. Bowes cherished fond memories his early days in the parish, near to his family home.
The Black Swan also retains a history that can only be guessed at. There is evidence of both a secret passage leading from the residence to St. Cuthbert’s church and of a secret room, possibly used for cock fighting. His plea for the church to be preserved was successful and with gratitude he gave to the city a sword decorated with pearls and precious stones. Some of these were stolen in the 17th century, but Martin Bowes’ sword later replenished with aquamarines and Scotch crystals still remains in the York civic possessions.
The parents of General James Wolfe lived here from 1724 and by 1726 many fingers had been pointed to the Black Swan Inn as the Generals birthplace. Wolfe, however had not been born here as his parents had left a year before. James fought at Culloden and died while commanding the British Army at Quebec in the battle, which secured supremacy over the French in Canada. A Canadian flag used to be raised near the altar in tribute to General Wolfe. From 1932 onwards, the pub has been frequented by members of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The first record of these premises being used as a pub is in 1763 when it was advertised in York courant with good stabling, wood warehouse and a larger chamber of its own.
Some interesting ghosts have been reported in the Black Swan. One is of a Chalinesque figure that wears a bowler hat and wanders aimlessly through the rooms waiting for someone to arrive. After a while he usually disappears! Also a beautiful young ghostly woman wearing a long white dress has been staring distractedly into the fire, her face hidden by long black hair. The pub’s strangest ghost is a pair of male legs seen walking around the Landlord’s accommodation. His regular visitations have not been explained!
The Black Swan
Peasholme Green York, YO1 7, United Kingdom
Tel: 01904 679131