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Home > London > E3 > Black Swan

Black Swan

Picture source: Keith

The Black Swan was situated at 148 Bow Road. This pub was present by 1822, at which time it was almost certainly in the ownership of the nearby Hodgson’s Brewery.  By 1915 the brewery had become Smith Garrett’s Bow Brewery.  On the night of 23 September 1916 this pub was completely destroyed by a direct hit from a bomb dropped by a German Zeppelin in one of the very first ever air raids on London, with the loss of several lives.  The Zeppelin itself was later shot down over Essex and the crew surrendered – they are said to have been the only uniformed German troops to have set foot on English soil during the First World War.  The pub was rebuilt in 1920, although was from then on said to be haunted by the ghosts of the former landlord’s two daughters who had died in the air raid.  The pub closed and was demolished when Bromley High Street was widened in the early 1970s.
Source: Stephen Harris

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Name Dates Comments
Bernard Cole late 1960s We would drive from East Ham to Bow in my Consol 375 and have happy memories of this old pub. Come closing time, doors locked, publican to bed and a honesty box until the last one left. No Breathalyser those days. No one ever took advantage and it was a typical East end pub. Gone are the days.