The Swan. Going, Going…

Photo: Mike Purdy

Sorry, folks, it’s started. Mike went to have a look the other day and there are demolition guys working as fast as they can to demolish the Swan before any pesky protest group manages to stop it.

The workmen were pretty hostile to Mike – a far cry from the jolly chaps that allowed Phillip to look around a couple of weeks ago. This lot were unpleasant – as you’ll see from the photo above, where one of them is making a rude gesture…

So, if you want to get a look at it get yourself down there quick, eh.

Photo: Mike Purdy

I guess it was always a very slim chance, the campaign was started FAR too late for anything to really happen. But let’s take inspiration from Sir John Betjeman who famously failed to stop the Euston Arch from being demolished, but, through the publicity, managed to save St Pancras – and look at that particular ‘white elephant’ now.

Let’s keep an eye on the Thames Pub, and make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again.

I understand that the roundel above the pub is to be retained to be set into whatever monstrosity goes there next as some kind of sop to the neighbourhood.

You can’t polish a turd, they say, but you can stick a flag in it.

the attachments to this post:

Photo: Mike Purdy
Swan demolition Mike Purdy low2

Swan demolition Mike Purdy low 2
Swan demolition Mike Purdy low 2

Swan demolition Mike Purdy 2 low 2
Swan demolition Mike Purdy 2 low 2

Photo: Mike Purdy
Swan demolition Mike Purdy 2 low 1

7 Comments to “The Swan. Going, Going…”

  1. Paul says:

    Sad to see this, but not surprised. A good reminder to everyone to check the weekly listings here:;jsessionid=E1153736A62E0049F8C2982BDDAFFD0F?action=weeklyList

    Beyond the Thames pub, all the buildings at the top of the High Road that just ‘happened’ to burn down will be next for replacement by bland, cheapo, crammed buildings.

  2. Jb says:

    This is really sad. The council should ensure historic buildings are preserved and become part of new developments, like for example much of spitalfields markets was integrated into a new development. Many of the new builds along that road have very little architectural merit. The developers will always go for the cheap option so I would like to see the council insist these new developments put Greenwich on the map for great cutting edge architecture.

  3. Capability Bowes says:

    Its amazing isnt it, the number of buildings that “burn down” just at the right time? I remember when the Welcome Inn on the top bit of Well Hall Road fell into disrepair and was left to rot by the developers. I remember thinking “Well, there’s a fire waiting to happen”…….

  4. Kelly says:

    It infuriates me so much that all this heritage is being destroyed and usually for buildings that certainly won’t stand the test of time like these did.

  5. Neil says:

    SE London Camra’s Facebook page has a note about a planning application to demolish the Old Loyal Britons:

    “Some news about the Old Loyal Britons pub in Greenwich.

    An application has just been
    submitted for demolition and rebuild to flats and a
    restaurant. Ref. 14/1636/F. It is currently being processed,
    so it may be another week or
    so before it really gets out there into the public domain
    and onto the website.
    A 6 storey block with basement.
    If the Council receive more than 8
    objections and recommend approval it will need to be
    considered at a committee meeting.”

  6. Deborah says:

    Also the White Horse on Woolwich/Charlton borders, which would convert into the same number of flats as the new build applied for. The temporary car wash next door is surprisingly not part of the application. There is waste land diagonally opposite. Madness.

  7. Phil Moore says:

    Alas, all this is true… I will post an update to the Swan website soon, but I am sad to say this battle is lost.

    We did get quite far down the road of exploring extension of the Ashburnham Conservation Area, but the council deemed that this would not revoke existing permission. We question this, but we clearly won’t have a legal/technical opinion in time to save the building.

    However, we have raised awareness and learnt a lot about conservation! This is good, because it seems we now have a lot more pubs to worry about in Greenwich.

    Deborah, all old pubs need to be included, so please get in touch.

    Please contact us on if you want to try to do something.