Swan Walk

Chelsea, 67, Royal Hospital Road (SW3) In which the name of the "Swan "Tavern is kept alive. This tavern was well known as a resort by all the gay and thoughtless men who visited Chelsea in the seventeenth century. It is mentioned by Pepys and Dibdin, and is described as standing close to the water's edge. In 1715 Thomas Doggett, the comedian, instituted a yearly festival, in which the great feature was a race by watermen on the river from "the Old Swan near London Bridge to the White Swan at Chelsea." The prize was a coat, in every pocket of which was a guinea, and also a badge. This race is still rowed annually, Doggett's Coat and Badge being a well-known river institution. (Chelsea, G. E. Mitton, ed. Besant, p. 22)