The Swan Inn (Cockermouth)

56 Kirkgate, Cockermouth, CA13 9PH
The Swan Inn (Cockermouth) Outside

The Swan Inn is one of Cockermouth’s oldest drinking establishments, located in the Georgian part of the town that is brimming with heritage. The pub hasn’t changed much over the years, resisting the move that many other pubs have made to become more restaurant focused, and instead has retained its commitment to being a community space that serves real ale.

Many local groups meet here, including the Cockermouth Mechanics Brass Band, who, having formed in 1825, are possibly one of the oldest brass bands in the country. The pub’s dedication to providing a community hub was recognised in 2016 when it was registered as a Community Asset. The pub has recently been refurbished, but has kept its Cumbrian and historic character, with signs written in the Cumbrian dialect.

Food & Drink

The Swan Inn does not serve food. The inn is part of the Jennings Brewery who are located less than half a mile from the pub. The pub serves four regular real ales, all provided by Jennings, as well as one guest real ale, often provided by other breweries. The small bar has a reasonable selection of other alcoholic drinks, though it’s clear that ale is the focus here.

Other Features

The Swan Inn (Cockermouth) pub

Photo thanks to the Swan Inn

The pub aims to be a community space rather than a place simply to have a pint, and is therefore often packed with community groups holding informal meetings. Dogs are welcome here, as are children who can be kept entertained with the selection of board games the pub has to offer.

There is a television in the back bar and the pub has subscriptions to BT Sports and Sky Sports, enabling it to show all the major live football matches, as well as other sporting events, such as the Rugby Six Nations. There are regular live music events, and twice a month, there are informal open mic sessions – one for folk music and one for traditional tunes.


Located in the Georgian quarter of the town, it’s thought that the building dates back to the early to mid 18th century. However, there are earlier references to the Swan in church records dating back to 1668, suggesting that another pub may have stood on the same site before the area was built upon in the 18th century. Part of the building that is now occupied by the Swan was once a hospice for poor widows and unmarried women. The pub has been part of the Jennings Brewery throughout most of its history.


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