. . . . . . . . Hough Mill open 2-5pm Sundays to end of September . . . . . . . . . .

Railway Inn (demolished)


The Railway Inn was on the corner of Tan Yard and Main Street.  It is virtually opposite the village hall.

The Railway Inn was demolished in 1958 and the site remained empty until a new house was built there in 2020.

Railway Inn
Railway Inn Customers
Site of the former Railway Inn on corner of Tan Yard

Landlords / Landladies

1863 Robert Shaw

White’s Directory 1863 lists Robert Shaw twice, as a blacksmith and a publican.

1875-1877 John Richards

Barker & Co’s Directory 1875, Post Office Directory 1876, White’s Directory 1877.

1878 Hannah Hicklin

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Gazette – Saturday 15 June 1878 THE VALLEY LODGE LEICESTERSHIRE SERAPHIC ORDER OF ODDFELLOWS.  On Whit-Monday the members of the above lodge dined together at their lodge house, Mrs. Hannah Hicklin’s, the Railway Inn, Swannington.

1881 Geo Walker

Kelly’s Directory 1881 shows he was also a butcher.

1882 Thomas Chetwin

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Gazette – Saturday 06 May 1882 – ASHBY POLICE SATURDAY, April 29 – Before Major Mowbray (chairman), and H. E. Smith, Esq.  Temporary authority of the Railway Inn, Swannington, was granted to Thomas Chetwin.

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Gazette – Saturday 15 July 1882 – ASHBY POLICE SATURDAY, July 8 – Before Major Mowbray, and H. E. Smith, Esq. A game license was granted to John Robinson, of Ashby-de-la-Zouch.  The following transfers of licenses were granted :—T. Chetwin, of the Railway Inn, Swannington ; George Jackson, of the Three Horse Shoes, Hugglescote, and Caroline Joynes, of the beerhouse off premises, situate at Hugglescote.

1882 William Robinson

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Gazette – Saturday 16 December 1882 – ASHBY POLICE Saturday, Dec. 9 – Before Major Mowbray and H. Smith, Esq. – An application on behalf of Mrs. Love, of the Vaults, Ashby, for the justices license to keep open her licensed premises between the hours of eleven and three on the morning of the 20th December, was granted.  Temporary authority of the license of the Railway Inn, Swannington, was granted to William Robinson.

1901 -1925 Walter Henry Chester

In 1901 and 1911 the nine roomed inn was occupied by Walter Chester and his wife Jane Maria Hough (daughter of John Hough who bought Thringstone Smock Mill, now Hough Mill, in 1878).  Walter was a publican and grazier and used the family connection to operate Hough Mill to produce animal feed during the First World War.

Walter is also listed in the 1925 Kelly’s directory.

1928 Frederick Stanyard

Kelly’s Directory 1928.

History Of The Railway Inn

The last of the booking offices along the Leicester and Swannington railway line was in Main Street Swannington at the corner of the Tan Yard.  This was  a little over half a mile from the boarding point at the top of the Incline!

The Railway Inn can only have operated as a ticket office for about 15 years for, in 1846 the Leicester to Swannington Railway was taken over by the Midland Railway.  An extension to Burton on Trent was built around 1848 with a fine new station at Swannington, half a mile south of the Railway Inn, catering for passengers.  Though deprived of its original purpose, the Railway Inn continued to ply its trade as a public house for there were thirsts to be quenched in Swannington as in all mining settlements.

Ownership passed through several hands until it came to Joseph Wheatley, an inspector and later a clerk of works on the Midland Railway.  His son, Alfred, became their chief architect.  The Railway had the distinction of claiming to be the last inn in the midlands to have a “Bull Ring and Peg” game in the bar.

In 1929 Alfred Wheatley sold the Railway, together with an adjoining cottage, to Bass and Company Ltd for £885.  It was delicensed and let as a private house  about 1930.  It was sold again in 1946 and demolished in 1958. Read more about The History Of The Railway Inn

Clubs and Societies at the Railway Inn

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Gazette – Saturday 15 June 1878 THE VALLEY LODGE LEICESTERSHIRE SERAPHIC ORDER OF ODDFELLOWS.  On Whit-Monday the members of the above lodge dined together at their lodge house, Mrs. Hannah Hicklin’s, the Railway Inn, Swannington. No fewer than 104 sat down to dinner.  The efforts of the worthy hostess were greatly appreciated by all present.  Dr. Donovan (Whitwick), took the chair, the vice being filled by Mr. J. Cullimore (Ravenstone).

After the usual loyal toasts, Mr. Levi Lovett, secretary, read the report, from which it seemed that at the commencement of the year the funds stood thus: – £227 13s. 3d. ; income for the present year £l4l 16s. 4d. ; total £36 , 1 9s. 7d., leaving a balance Dec. 31, 1877, £279 2s. 6d., saving in a year 141 9s. 3d. with a fund of £284 12s. ; in bank, £261 17s. Id. ; in treasurer’s hand, 22 14s. 11d.

Song Bro. Samuel Webster, ” Silver Bells of Memory.” – The Chairman then gave ” The Army and Navy.” – Song : Bro. Cliff, ” Hearts of Oak,” which was well given, and met with merited applause. – Bro. Brown then gave a recitation of his own, ” The Lily of the Valley,” which was much enjoyed.

P.G.M. Johnson proposed, in an appropriate speech, ” The healths of the past and present officers.” – Mr. Levi Lovett replied, and said he was sure that each and everyone of the officers of the lodge, in conjunction with himself, did that which all Englishmen would ever do their duty.  It was pleasing to know that during the past year they had only lost one member by death.  P.G.M. Johnson gave the health of the visiting friends and that of the gentlemen who had so kindly given their donations to the lodge, which was drunk with three times three.—Song, S. P. Pickering, ” Love at home.”

The Chairmen, in a feeling speech, next gave the health of the hostess, expressing deep sympathy with her for her bereavement, and saying he was sure all present shared that feeling to-day.  The hearty manner in which they had enjoyed their dinners was the best thanks that could be accorded to either host or hostess.  – Song. ” The sailor’s grave,” which was well given.  – Bro. John Sleigth‘s song, ” The mad butcher,” was received with roars of laughter.  A song by Bro. William Robinson, ” Don’t I love my wife,” was given in his usual comic style, and was much enjoyed.  Song, Mr. Calliman, ” tear away upon the sea,” was given with much taste and feeling. A vote of thanks to the chairman and vice-chairman brought to a close, at an early hour, a most pleasing and convivial gathering.