Historic Portsmouth pub put on the market

FOR SALE The White Swan
FOR SALE The White Swan
Picture: Paul Jacobs (142476-229) PPP-140824-032155001

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A WETHERSPOON pub which dates back more than 100 years has been put on the market for a six-figure sum.

The White Swan, in Guildhall Walk, Southsea, is being sold because the pub giant says the premises isn’t big enough.

No-one will lose their jobs and staff will be sent to work at other Wetherspoon pubs.

Business advisers Christie and Co, which is handling the sale, has put a £700,000 freehold price on the pub.

It was one of five Wetherspoon pubs in the country currently being sold.

The firm has three remaining pubs close by – The Isambard Kingdom Brunel, in Guildhall Walk, The Trafalgar, in Edinburgh Road, Landport, and The John Jacques, in Fratton Road, Fratton.

It is believed that Wetherspoon wants the premises to continue as a pub and is considering offers from pub investors.

Nigel Firth-Penney, of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire branch, is glad the pub, which was built in 1906, won’t be lost.

‘Wetherspoon has several other pubs in Portsmouth so it might feel it is over-represented in the city,’ he said.

‘With 12 pubs a week closing in the UK it is vital that as much of the country’s pub stock is preserved as possible.

‘We very much welcome the fact that Wetherspoons are selling the White Swan as a going concern as a pub rather than for some other use of the site.’

Eddie Gershon, a spokesman for JD Wetherspoon, said: ‘I can confirm that The White Swan is up for sale and will remain open and trading until about a week before any sale goes through.

‘There has been interest but no deal has been made yet.

‘All the staff have been made aware and all staff will retain jobs with Wetherspoon.

‘JD Wetherspoon has four pubs including The White Swan in Portsmouth and it was felt it was too small for the company to operate going forward.’

Meanwhile The Royal, in Commercial Road, is displaying a sign which says the pub, which dates back to the 1870s, has closed.

It is named in memory of The Royal Portsmouth Hospital that once stood opposite.

LONG HISTORY

The White Swan was designed in the early 1900s for Brickwoods and is listed as a Grade Two building.

The pub, known locally as ‘Mucky Duck’, was an American-style sports bar called Pitchers in the late 1990s before it reclaimed its former name.

After the pub closed in 2008 it was taken over by Wetherspoon, which reopened following an extensive £500,000 refurbishment in June 2009.

Ghost hunters say the pub is haunted.

The story goes that the ghost is that of a Victorian barmaid who was murdered by her violent husband.