Ye Olde Swan Inn & small boat slipway
Boyle Farm Island
Left bank below Thames Ditton Island
Left bank tiny Island between Boyle Farm Island and Thames Ditton Island.
Left bank, next to The Swan, Summer Road, Thames Ditton, said to be suitable for small craft. Access may be difficult
Thames Ditton Church, 1817
Ye Olde Swan Inn
Left Bank. Mooring for craft less than 3' draft
William Hone, 1827 -
Thames Ditton is a pretty village, delightfully
situated on the banks of the Thames, between Kingston and Hampton Court Palace.
During the summer and autumn, it is much
frequented by the followers of Isaac Walton's tranquil occupation.
The Swan Inn, only a few paces from the waters edge, remarkable for the neatness and comfort of its appearance, and for the still more substantial attractions of its internal accommodation, is kept by Mr John Locke, a most civil, good natured, and obliging creature; and what is not of slight importance to a bon-vivant, he has a wife absolutely incomparable in the art of cooking a good beef-steak, or a mutton chop.
1849: Rambles by Rivers: The Thames By James Thorne -
... step over to the Swan at
Thames Ditton, and appease what old Homer calls "the sacred rage of hunger", which we may there
do very satisfactorily.
The house is nicely situated, affording capital views over our river ; the host is commendable, the fare good, and the cook skilful ; and the little village will afford an agreeable stroll while dinner is preparing. No Thames rambler will desire a better or more suitable inn ; to all Thames anglers it is well known, and is, as it deserves to be, a leading favourite.
The Swan at Ditton in 1859
see Church Spire far right
1876: Lippincott's Magazine -
Thames Ditton, Lippincott's Magazine, 1876
The angler's capital is Thames Ditton, and his capitol the Swan Inn. Ditton is, like many other pretty English villages, little and old. It is mentioned in Domesday Boke as belonging to the bishop of Bayeux in Normandy, famous for the historic piece of tapestry. Wadard, a gentleman with a Saxon name, held it of him, probably for the quitrent of an annual eel-pie, although the consideration is not stated.
1906: Henry Wellington Wack, In Thamesland -
Thames Ditton on the Surrey side is a small village with ... an inn, "The Swan",
which half a century ago [1850s] was a popular rendez-vous for anglers from all parts of the Thames valley.
Theodore Hook, whom the last generation will probably more readily recall than the present, as a dramatist, mimic, wit, and rhymster of exceptional facility, and a man of many greater parts, must have regarded Ditton as the Elysium of the punt-fishing and contemplative man.
While sitting in his punt in July, 1834, with Mr. S.C.Hall [the man who with his wife wrote "Down the Thames" in 1859] then editor of the "New Monthly Magazine", he composed seven eight line verses cleverly expressive of his appreciation of what was then, much more than it is at present, one of the loveliest regions of the great little river.
1834: Theodore Hook -
Listen to 'When sultry suns ...'
When sultry suns and dusty streets
Proclaim town's winter season,
And rural scenes and cool retreats
Sound something like high treason
I steal away to shades serene,
Which yet no bard has hit on,
And change the bustling, heartless scene
For quietude and DITTON.
Here lawyers, free from legal toils,
And peers, released from duty,
Enjoy at once kind nature's smiles,
And eke the smiles of beauty:
Beauty with talent brightly graced,
Whose name must not be written,
The idol of the fane, is placed
Within the shades at DITTON.
Let lofty mansions great men keep
I have no wish to rob 'em
Not courtly Claremont, Esher's steep,
Nor Squire Combes at Cobham.
Sir Hobhouse has a mansion rare,
A large red house at Whitton,
But Cam with Thames I can't compare,
Nor Whitton class with DITTON.
I'd rather live, like General Moore,
In one of the pavilions
Which stand upon the other shore,
Than be the king of millions;
For though no subjects might arise
To exercise my wit on,
From morn till night I'd feast my eyes
By gazing at sweet DITTON.
The mighty Queen whom Cydnus bore,
In gold and purple floated,
But happier I, when near this shore,
Although more humbly boated.
Give me a punt, a rod, a line,
A snug arm-chair to sit on,
Some well iced punch, and weather fine,
And let me fish at DITTON.
The Swan, snug inn, good fare affords
At table e'er was put on
And worthier quite of loftier boards
Its poultry, fish and mutton
And whilst sound wine mine host supplies
With beer of Meux or Tutton
Mine hostess with her bright eyes
Invites to stay at DITTON.
Here, in a placid waking dream,
I'm free from worldly troubles,
Calm as the rippling silver stream
That in the sunshine bubbles;
And when sweet Eden's blissful bowers
Some abler bard has writ on,
Despairing to transcend his powers,
I'll ditto say for DITTON.
1872: Edward Lear -
There was an old man of Thames Ditton,
Who called for something to sit on;
But they brought him a hat, and said "Sit upon that,
You abruptious old man of Thames Ditton!"
2017: Not Edward Lear -
There was an old poet called Lear,
Whose words were perfectly clear;
The sound of his rhyme was exquisitely fine,
But his last lines are odd, I fear!