Two star - A pub interior of outstanding national historic interest
Listed Status: Not listed17 Needham Road
Tel: (020) 7229 1550
Real Ale: Yes
Lunchtime Meals: Yes
Evening Meals: Yes
Nearby Station: London Paddington
Station Distance: 1500m
Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Paddington) and Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
The pub has one outstanding feature – a bar-back of exceptional ornateness, showcasing a series of round columns with florid Corinthian capitals below a broad frieze terminating in a band of ornament.
This handsome two storey corner pub, formerly the Swan, was built in 1850. It has a striking exterior, with twin horizontal bands dividing the main facades. Multiple doorways in the Needham Road side (some disused) indicate the presence of several rooms originally. Now this part is a single space. The room at the rear was brought into use at a later stage - an opening being made through the back of the servery (you can see where a column has been removed).
Some of the bar-back's columns have round-headed projections on them labelled with various spirits. Near the bottom of each is also a short round stub. It’s possible that all this means that there was once a gravity-feed system for spirits and wines (housed above the bar) which were fed down the pipes in the hollow columns to cocks on the stubs. The counter is old, possibly the same vintage as the bar-back. A roundel over a doorway in the servery features a swan, relating to the former name (changed in the late 1980s).The pretty stained glass panels of swans placed above the windows were removed in a recent refurbishment. At the same time, a breach in the counter on the left side of the pub was remedied. The snob screens in the hatch to the rear room are a modern bit of re-Victorianisation.