The Plough/Plow

This sketch is the only image we have representing the pre-fire (1909) thatched Plough. This sketch is by A.G.Rees, the proprietor 1922-3.

WTPC-0144 C1920. 

The Plough (5 Brook End) was an alehouse called the Plow from 1685 to 1753. It was the only public house in Weston Turville that is shown on the enclosure map of 1799. [1] The old building, formerly thatched, was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1909.

It included a Blacksmith's shop and paddock. By 1893, the name changed and it was being let by Walton Brewery, Aylesbury. 

For at least 35 years, the tenants were the Kirtland family, equally known for being Blacksmiths and Farriers as publicans and victuallers.

It was sold to the Aylesbury Brewery Company in 1895 by Parrott, Walter & Co. of Aylesbury, who owned Walton Brewery. 

The Plough was regularly used as a site for auctions and it's Friendly Society Feast days were well attended well into the 20th Century.

The Plough closed as a hostelry in October 1994 and after a period of decay revived as a private dwelling in 2009. 

1753 The Publican/Beerseller was William Jones. [1] 

1792 The Publican/Beerseller was John Jones. [1] 

1794 Property Auctions were held at the sign of The Plough. [20] 

1824 The Publican/Beerseller was Reuben Purssell. [1] 

1831 The Plough Inn Benefit Society Established, and a room set aside for their use.[2

1834 The license was transferred to John Fitkin. [19

1840 The license was transferred from Fipkin to Purssell[3

1841 Census shows Reubin Purssell (27) Victualler, Eliza (29), Isabella (6), Elizabeth (5 months) also Charles 13

1843 Reuben Purcell one measure out of eight deficient. Convicted, and fined 2s. 6d. costs 12s 6d.

1847 Kelly's directory lists Reuben Purssell at "Plough"

1848 William Kirtland marries Mary Eldridge at St Pancras. (At the 1841 census Mary and William are both living in Mary's grandfather William Eldridge's residence in Weston Turville. He is also a Smith)

1851 Census shows William Kirtland (35) ,Victualler his wife Mary (35, nee Eldridge) and son William (2); Reuben Purssell is described as a carpenter and he and his family are living in Church End.

1851 The cash box belonging to the Union club, held at the Plough Inn, was stolen from the club room, containing about £8. The box was found empty in Weston Brook. [16] 

1853 Directory lists William Kirtland as victualler, "Plough", blacksmith and overseer

1860 DRUNKENNESS IN WESTON TURVILLE.

Thomas Warner, of Weston Turville, charged by Police-constable White (No. 76) with being drunk on the 14th ult., a little before one o'clock in the morning, and using bad language, was ordered to pay 19s. 6d., including costs.

Thomas Pursell, James King, James Dubery, three young men of Weston Turville, were charged along with Henry Goodson, who did not appear, by Police-constable White (No. 76) with being drunk and disorderly on the 3rd ult., shortly before one o'clock in the morning, in the village of Weston Turville. There were twenty others who came out of Kirkland's house about the same time, it being the club night, and Mr. Senior directed a note to be taken on the police report respecting the house. Pursell denied being present, and a witness proved seeing him in bed in his mother's house at half-past eleven o'clock, and his mother said she saw him go to bed at ten o'clock, and between that time and three o'clock in the morning she frequently saw him in bed as she passed backwards and forwards to attend to a sick person in the house. There being a doubt in Pursell's case, he was discharged; the other two, King and Dubery, were each fined 5s. and costs 9s. 6d.[34]

1861 Census shows William Kirtland (44), Victualler, his wife Mary (46) and son William (12), daughters Mary A (6) and Emma (2)

1861 The vote of William Kirtland was objected to by the Conservatives, on the ground of insufficient qualification. His vote was allowed when it was found that he paid £12 a year for his premises.[35]

1862 DRUNK AND RIOTOUS.

Thomas Emery was charged with being drunk and riotous at Weston Turville, on the 4th inst. The defendant did not appear.

Police-constable Batchelor said-I was on duty at Weston Turville about half-past nine on the night in question, when I heard a disturbance at the Plough Inn. On going to the house, I found Emery "mad drunk, stripped, and swearing he would fight any one in the place."

Superintendent Denson said Emery had been convicted several times for similar offences at Tring. Committed for seven days hard labour, without option of paying a fine.

1867 About ninety attended the Club Feast, and were entertained by the Waddesdon band June[5

1871 At Brook End Census shows William Kirtland (55), Blacksmith, his wife Mary (56), son William (22), Blacksmith; Daughter Mary A (17) and a boarder Catherine Eldridge (87).

1872 The Plough was categorised as a Public House; William Kirtland was the occupier and the owner was Joseph Parrott, Esq., Aylesbury[21

1880 The first sign of financial trouble for the Kirtland family - Daniel George Hall, brewer of Oxford, makes a claim on William Kirtland, blacksmith, Weston Turville. Claim for goods, £2 2s. 9d. The Registrar enquired how it was the case came into that court, and was told that the defendant was living at Kirtlington when summons was taken out. An order was made for payment of 5s. per month.[36

1881 Census shows William Kirtland (63) ,Black Smith his wife Mary (64), daughter Mary A (24) there is also a William Kirtland (35) servant and Smith from Kirtlington, Oxfordshire.

1885 William snr. dies, aged 71, leaving no will.[37] His daughter Mary Ann and wife Mary continued living at the Plough. Mary however died about 12 month later. William jnr continued the business, and sold his fathers five cottages and shop for about £500.

1887 William Kirtland, The Plow Inn and Cottage, a publican and smith files a "Bill of Sale" to Augustus Fisher & ano. for £30.[23] In June, the transaction is listed under "Satisfactions" in the same publication.[29]

1891 Census The Plough is occupied Mary A Kirtland (35) her daughter Emily Ellson Kirtland (6), Niece Emma S Kirtland (15) and William Kirtland (46) Boarder born in Kirtlington, Oxon. 

1891 The second Harvest Home for the one acre allotment holders, rented under Lord Rothschild was held at "The Plough" and hosted by William Kirtland. These alternated between "The Crown" and "The Plough".[22] These feast seem to have ended in 1894 however.


The Plough - Kirtland era ends in 1893. William sells up and Walton Brewery, offer The Plough Inn with Blacksmith's Shop and paddock to Let[30]


1895 (Jun) License transferred to Albert E. Sharp.[32]

1895 (Aug) During the Police Report of the annual licensing session it is reported that the license has been transferred twice.[33]

1895 (Oct) License transferred to William Westlake.[31]

1897 Whit-Monday The Hardwick v Weston Turville cricket match was won by Hardwick. The Weston Turville Brass Band played selections during the afternoon. After the match the teams and friends sat down to a repast at the Plogh Inn, Served by host Westlake. (Bucks Advertiser)

1897 License transferred from William Westlake to William Dennison.[26]

1900 At the 21 April Petty Sessions the transfer of the license from James Thorne to William Henry Gardner of St. Pancras was granted.

1901 Census Frederick J Rumsey (32) Publican; Edith E Rumsey (27); Edith, their daughter (1)

1901 License transferred from F.J. Rumsey to B. Van Baars of Islington[6]

1906 (March) License transferred from Henry Day to Walter Keel of Cork[7]

1906 (December) License transferred from Walter Keel to Thomas Brill of Streatham.[24]

1907 William Kirtland, farrier of Weston Turville is bankrupt and throws light on The Plough's finances and lax book keeping when he took it over from his father, in 1855.[37] William was well know as a great cricketer, was the chairman of the Chandos Arms Slate Club and trustee of Widow Turpin's Charity.

1907 (Oct) License transferred from Thomas Brill to George Henry Clarke of Northampton

1908 THE FEAST.

Like most other village feasts, the one usually held at Whitsuntide has dwindled down to next-to-nothing, and will doubtless soon be reckoned among the things of the past. The members of the Royal Britannia Benefit Society held their annual dinner under the genial chairmanship of Rev. G. K. Cooke, at the Plough Inn. The club has a membership of 31, with an average amount of funds per member of £7 is. 10 d., and appears to be in a prosperous condition.[10]

1908 NOT FOR HIS USE.

Messrs. G. Graves, jewellers, etc., of Sheffield sued George Clark, of the Plough Inn, Weston Turville, for the sum of 9s. 5d., for goods supplied. - Mr. Canning appeared for the plaintiffs. Debtor said he did not order the goods, and had not received any from the firm. The goods claimed for were a costume and a pair of corsets. His Honour: You do not wear corsets, do you? (Laughter.)- Debtor: No, your Honour. (Laughter.) By Mr. Canning: The signature on the order was not his, and he knew of no one who could put his signature on it.-Mr. Canning asked for permission to allow debtor to write his name, in order that he could compare the two, to which his Honour consented. After examination of the writings, his Honour said he did not think they were the same. No doubt Messrs, Graves had hundreds of those cases, and they ought to know how to prove them. Judgement would be given for defendant, with 10s, costs.

1909 23 Jan 02:55 A disastrous Fire – 

The Wendover Fire Brigade were summoned, but despite their efforts the house was gutted, and the whole of the contents burnt out. The occupants escaped from the building in their night attire.

WESTON TURVILLE.

THE RECENT FIRE -The following is the report of Captain Dancer to the Wendover Parish Council of the recent fire at Weston Turville:-

"The members of the Wendover Fire Brigade received a call of fire on Friday, Jan. 23rd at 2.55 a.m. to a fire at the Plough Inn, Weston Turville. The Brigade arrived on the scene at 3.35 a.m., and found the whole of the house in full blaze, and the roof fallen in. We found that we could not do any good to same, so we played on the so-called blacksmith's shop and stable adjoining same, which consisted of a thatched roof, which we thought it was advisable to play on with water, and a great portion was saved. We had to remove some pigs and fowls which were occupying same. We had a good supply of water and helpers.

We got the fire under control at 10.30 a.m. We returned with engine and part of the Brigade at 8p.m. Considering the nature of the fire the Captain thought it was advisable to leave three men on duty for the night, and on Saturday, until relieved by the London and Lancashire representative. We understand the property is insured in the Royal Insurance Company, and the tenant in the London and Lancashire Company.[8]

1909 THE PLOUGH, WESTON TURVILLE.

Mr. Frank Higgens, representing the Aylesbury Brewery Company, rising to make an application, said, a fortnight ago the Plough, Weston Turville, Weston Turville, had been burnt down, and that day he would lay the plans of the new building before them. They had been approved by the Deputy Chief Constable, and Mr. G. H. Manning, the architect in charge of the new building, would explain anything they would like to know in connection with the building. He might point out that they proposed to make every possible arrangement under the Children's Bill for a separate entrance for children, and a private room would be provided, so that they would not come in contact with the retail trade. The Chairman (to D.C.C. Pitson)-Have you seen those plans?

The Deputy Chief Constable-Yes, sir. The Chairman-And do you approve of them?

The Deputy Chief Constable said he did so, as there was a separate entrance for children. which would not be used at all by ordinary customers.

Mr. Higgens said the idea was to provide a room where the children would not come in contact with the retail trade.

The application was granted.[9]

1909 The question of paying the expenses of the Fire Brigade is in debate between the London & Lancashire Fire Officer, the insurance companies and the council.[12]

1909 PROSECUTION UNDER THE CHILDREN'S ACT,

George Henry Clarke, the landlord of the Plough publichouse, Weston Turville, was summoned under Section 130 of the Children's Act, 1908, for allowing a child under the age of 14 years to be in a room which was exclusively or mainly used for the sale and consumption of intoxicating liquor, at Weston Turville, on Aug. 1. Defendant pleaded not guilty.

D.C.C. Pitson said that as that case was the first in that Court under the Act, he wished to make a few remarks in respect to it. It was taken under Section 120 of the Act, in which a bar was defined as meaning a place used for the purpose of drinking beer, or any part of the premises exclusively or mainly used for the sale and consumption of intoxicating liquors. The defendant was landlord of the Plough public-house at Weston Turville, which was some time ago burnt down. The Plough had been re-erected, and a coach-house which formed part of the licensed premises was being used at the present time as a taproom for the use of customers. That being so, he contended that it was part of the licensed premises, and came within the definition of the Act. On the day in question. at 8.45 p.m., the Sergeant was passing by in plain clothes, accompanied by a relative, and hearing a great noise of dancing and singing going on, stood outside in the road and listened. The defendant was outside, and his son came up and spoke to him, whereupon he at once went into the coach-house. Immediately he went in the music and dancing stopped. A Mrs. Barker came out of the coach-house with a child in her arms, and stood at the door. Those facts would be proved by two witnesses.

P.S. Greig, stationed at Wendover, said he was on duty in plain clothes near the Plough public-house, Weston Turville, on Aug. 1. at 8.45 p.m., when his attention was attracted to a piano playing and the singing of songs, and also dancing in a building erected as a coach-house, and now being used for the sale and consumption of intoxicating liquors. He listened outside for some few minutes, and during that time he saw the defendant go to and from the coach-house. In a few minutes he saw the defendant's son, who was outside the publichouse, go and speak to defendant. The latter then went into the coach-house, and the music, singing, and dancing immediately ceased. At the same time he saw a woman named Mrs. Barker in the coach-house, carrying a baby in her arms, but before he could get to the house she came out and, standing at the door, looked in the coach-house. There was only one entrance to the house, and witness visited the premises and saw a table containing several jugs and glasses. A number of young men were sitting round the table, and there was a girl 8 years of age, the daughter of the defendant, sitting in the roots. Another daughter was sitting at the piano. The defendant then came into the coach-house, and witness asked him what explanation he had to give for allowing dancing and a child under....

Fine 5s and costs £1 0s 6d.


1910 At the Annual licensing meeting, the Plough was singled out as being not well conducted. The landlord had been proceeded against, convicted and replaced by a fresh landlord[11]

1910 License transferred from William Britten to John James Edward Worman, of Peckham[12]

John and Florence were entertainers that travelled widely. John was a comedian who performed as Johnny Worman, and Florence's stage name was Madge Daly, a burlesque comedienne. They married in 1896. Florence would frequently entertained her customers at The Plough with music hall medleys.[42] 

 1911 There are intriguing entries in newspaper personal columns where she is trying to make contact with Maude Kaye, probably the famous comedienne and dancer.[12] 

1911 Census John James Edward Worman (43), Inn keeper; his wife Florence (35) and their daughter Isabella Ellen (12) and a servant Elsie Charlotte Gomm (16)

1911 Fire Brigade costs, were still being debated with the County Fire Office and Insurance companies.[17]

1912 John Worman died on 1st September leaving effects of £121 10s 4d to Florence.

1912 (Oct) License transferred from John James Edward Wormer (deceased) to Mrs. Wormer.[27]

1912 (Dec) License transferred from Florence Wormer to Albert Beagley of Farnham.[14]

1913 (Dec) License transferred from Albert Beagley to Frederick Wells of Fishponds, Bristol.[38]

1914 License transferred from Frederick Wells to Wm Kirkley of Weston Turville, (Dalston, London Bucks Herald or Weston Turville - Bucks Advertiser).[18]

1914 No drink related convictions, Crown beerhouse Closed since 7 Feb 2014 (Reported Bucks Herald 13 Feb 1915)

1916 FOOLISH OBSTINACY. 

William Kirby, Plough Inn, Weston Turville, was summoned for an offence on March 6, and pleaded not guilty.-

In February 1916, blackout restrictions were extended across the whole of England.

Though Kirby had purchased 6 blinds, The Plough was found to have bright lights shining through the windows in the taproom, and also from the glass panel of the taproom door. There were also bright lights shining from the back of the house and no blinds drawn at the windows.

William Kirby's had been warned but said he would not put his house in mourning for the police, the King of England, or his Government, as he had to get his living out of his house, and would not darken his windows for anyone.

His statements:- 

"I have done all the lights you told me to.", 

"You are trying to make money out of poor people."

"God save the people and almost wished he had not been born a Britisher."

Did little to improve his case.


The Chairman said the Bench thought defendant had behaved very foolishly. He had not complied with the Order, and from his remarks that morning it was evident he did not intend to comply. No doubt he would duly comply when he realised the seriousness of the offence. He must pay a fine of £1, or go to prison for fourteen days. Defendant: I am leaving the house, or I should not pay it. The Chairman: You need not talk to me any more about it.[14]

1916 (13 May) License transferred from William Kirby to William Hope of Goring Heath.[19]

1922 (07 Oct) License transferred from William Hope to Arthur Gwilym Rees, 80 King's Road, Chelsea.[39]


1923 - Arthur and Mabel Rees invest in an exclusive upstairs lounge and spacious marquee then strongly promote "The Inn with Old time Spirit". 

Arthur was an Ex RAF Officer, injured in April 1918 and following his career as a victualler, goes on to be a Travelling Actor.

1923 (17 Nov) License transferred from Arthur Gwilym Rees to William Rees.[40]

1927 Weston Turville branch of the British Legion, with a membership of 75 moves it's headquarters to the Chandos Arms from The Plough Inn with a letter of thanks sent to Mr. Sells.

1935 (Aug) License transferred from Herbert T. Sells to Stanley George Smith.

Stanley, his wife, Annie and his parents George and Eva occupied The Plough. George, who had run the Victoria Club in Aylesbury died in November 1936. The Plough had a strong history of dart competition, both men and women teams at this time. In 1937, they won the darts Championship cup outright.

1938 The Wycombe Open Darts tournament was held at The Plough with 50 teams competing. Their application for a one hour extension was refused, but a half hour extension approved.

1939 Kelly's lists Stanley George Smith at The Plough PH.

1939 Register Stanley G Smith Licensed victualler & Chartered Accountants Clerk; Annie E Smith Unpaid domestic duties and Licensed Trade duties, Eva M, Unpaid domestic duties and Licensed Trade duties. There is also a Baker, Herbert Stratford. Also 4 children.

1987 Jim Aichison and his wife retired after 21 years running The Plough Inn. They arrived in the area since coming to RAF Halton in 1961. Their successors were Maurice and Mary Dedman who came from the Golden Cross in Saunderton.

1994 (Oct) Maurice and Mary ran The Plough Inn for it's final seven years. Their 12 Guinea fowl, a Chinese pheasant, three ducks and a goat all found new homes.

Picture source: Darkstar

2018 December Favourite haunt of RAF apprentice classes 132/2 and 132/3 in 1979-82. Drank beer, played pacman and darts, rode back to RAF Halton on motorcycles. It was like our own private bar - there was hardly ever anyone else in there.

Mike Wain

References