The Swan Inn
The Swan Inn
The year is 1769. Inspired by the sun-soaked villages of Italy, the 11th Earl of Eglinton has just begun the reconstruction of Eaglesham. It is formed on an A-shaped layout and with the continuation of tradition in mind: fairs and markets have punctuated the village calendar since 1672, and the villagers still celebrate with a procession to this day.
Several generations after the village is rebuilt, the 14th Earl is forced to sell up after losing money on a failed tournament. The estate is sold to a Mr Allan Gilmour for a significant sum of £200,000. It is from this point in history that many of the current residents of Eaglesham can trace their lineage to the present day. They include the descendants of Will Hall, the village blacksmith who is immortalised in statue in the village. His strength was legendary and rumours still circulate about the way he used to light the pipes of the gentry using his anvil, red hot and plucked from the flames using his bare hands.
It was around this time that The Swan was established, in 1832. Part of its story is told by JK Hunter, in his book, Scenes from an Artist’s Life. Hunter is asked to paint the sign for the new public house, and the choice behind the name is also explained. When the owner was wee, his granny used to tell him how proud he made her. He tells Hunter the artist that ‘one day he was coming home from school along with some other boys, when granny, glad to see him, said
“There he comes wi’ a neck like a swan!”
The boys heard the word and kept it up; in short, it was a new baptism, forever after they ca’d him, Jock Swan.’
In later years, the Swan would witness some of the more tumultuous moments in Eaglesham’s history. Rudolph Hess, second in command to Adolf Hitler, crashed his plane in a nearby field on his way to make peace through discussion with the Duke of Hamilton on the 10th May 1941. Today, times are more tranquil, and the pub continues to open its historic doors each day to locals and visitors seeking good food, a proper pint and some warm company…
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