History

The Lamplighters by the riverside was originally called ‘Lamplighters Hall’, and as far as is known is the only Inn in the country to bear this uncommon name. First mention of the Lamplighters comes in the Bristol Journal of 17th December 1768 when offered to let as ‘The Public House at Passage Leaze opposite Pill, commonly called ‘Lamplighters Hall’. The next mention was in 1772 when the property was up for sale, and described as ‘sometime estate of Joseph Swetnam, Tinman of Small Street, Bristol, deceased’. It is thought that Joseph Swetnam was probably the son of James Swetnam a Tinman who traded at the Three Ship Lanterns and was the first tradesman to use an engraved bill head on his invoices. Joseph Swetnam must have been a prosperous businessman, because at one period he was contracted to light several of the Bristol Parishes by means of oil-lamps, and out of the profits he built himself a splendid house in the country ‘in full view of the picturesque beauties of Pill’ which he appropriately named ‘Lamplighters Hall’.