Winchester’s famous black swan is to be restored to its former glory

Press Release: 08/02/2012

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The famous headless black swan in Winchester is to be finally restored following years of disrepair.

The Swan, which has been headless for several years, is to be removed from the Black Swan Buildings and taken to First Wessex Property Services in Portsmouth, where a new head and neck will be carved to reinstate its splendour.

Alison Davidson, Head of Historic Environment at Winchester City Council said:

The swan originates from the Black Swan Hotel which stood on the corner of Southgate Street since the early 19th century. Before that, the building was an inn known as the Old Swan. The Black Swan Hotel was famously visited by Sherlock Holmes and Watson in Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’ ‘The Adventure of the Copper Beeches’.

The hotel was replaced in 1935 with Black Swan Buildings and the carved swan is the last remnant of the hotel. In 1945 the swan fell to pieces and members of the public raised £55 needed for local craftsman Edwin Laverty to carve a new swan.”

Hazel Warwick, Asset Management Director at First Wessex said:

This is an unusual project for us, and we are thrilled to be part of the restoration of this important part of Winchester’s heritage.”