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The Plough Public House Eggington

The Plough about 1900 [Z50-42-2]
The Plough about 1900 [Z50/42/2]

The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that the Plough was first licensed in 1836. By 1876 the owner was William John Inns. The 1891 register gives the owner as James Warner Adams of Hockliffe and that of 1903 the late John Warner Adams. At this date the premises was described as “fairly clean but in bad repair”. It was 110 yards from the nearest licensed property, the only other one in the village, the Three Horseshoes. The Plough had one front and one back door.

In fact by 1903 the owner was J. W. Adams’ son, John James Reynal Adams of Hockliffe as Leighton Buzzard Petty Sessions licensing register [PS/LB4/1] tells us; John Warner Adams had died in that year [SH258/2]. The Adams family owned Field Farm in Eggington.

In 1904 Adams drew up a lease with Walter Pendleton of Stretton [Derbyshire], joiner. His rent was £30 per annum [HN10/348/2/1]. The following year Adams mortgaged Field Farm, including the Plough, to Catherine Eliza, wife of Woburn solicitor Frederick Thomas Tanqueray for £600 [SH258/2]. In 1907 the mortgage was assigned to John Garton of Houghton Conquest, farmer [SH258/2]. John Adams made his will in 1909, devising the Plough to his executors, dying that same year [SH258/2].

In 1912 Field Farm was put up for sale by auction by J. J. R. Adams’ executors. The sale particulars described the Plough, Lot 10, as follows [HN7/1/EGG3]:

Valuable Freehold Fully-Licensed House,
Known as “The Plough Inn”,
Situated in the Middle of the Village, and forming part of Enclosure No. 120
Doing a good trade in Beer, Spirits, Mineral Waters and Tobacco, and is let to Mr. S. G. Williams, on a repairing agreement, at the Apportioned
RENTAL OF £15 0s. 0d.
For the year ending 29th September, 1913, and thenceforth at the Apportioned Annual Rent of £17 10s. 0d.

Are Double-fronted, and substantially built of Brick and Slated, and contain Entrance Passage, Smoke Room, Tap Room, Living Room, Bar Parlour, Small Bar, capital Double Cellar. There are 5 Rooms upstairs.

Approached from the outside through the Double Gateway and Large Yard, which is used jointly by the tenant of the “Plough Inn” and of the Farmhouse adjoining on the Eastern boundary, a right of way over which Yard will be granted to the Purchaser of this Lot, there is

A Large Storeroom formerly used as a Brewhouse;

it is situated over the Cellar and contains a Brewing Copper, Mash Tub and 2 coolers


A 3-Bay Cartshed & a Range of Brick & Thatched Buildings
Containing 2 Stables, 2 large Barns and a Loft over, and another Brick and Slated Building containing a Shed, Stable, and private E. C.
The Well of Water in the Yard is used jointly by the tenant of the Plough Inn and the occupier of the Farmhouse before mentioned.
These is a Right-of-Way from the House over the adjoining Pasture Field known as Charity Land
The Plough Inn is considered to be one of the best houses in the neighbourhood, and there is only one other licensed house in the Parish

Tithe, Vicarial (1912) 2s. 6d.

The various lots remained unsold and the Plough closed in 1917. The licensing justices appointed a surveyor to inspect the property and his report [CLP16] stated that the Three Horseshoes was the better house. He gave the dimensions of the rooms in the Plough as follows: a passage entrance measuring 12 feet 6 inches by 4 feet; a tap room measuring 12 feet by 8 feet 3 inches; a parlour measuring 12 feet by 11 feet; a bar measuring 12 feet by 7 feet and a kitchen measuring 11 feet 6 inches by 9 feet 9 inches. He stated that the condition and cleanliness were “fair”. Outside were: a timber and slate open shed “in which is a copper and a sink”; a brick and slate two stall stable; a coachhouse with an earth closet and a disused brewhouse with a door opening into an adjoining yard.

A comparison of the trade of the two Eggington pubs is instructive: the Plough for the years 1914, 1915 and 1916 averaged 47 beer barrels, 37 spirits gallons and 77 gallons of minerals. The Three Horseshoes’ figures were 67, 40 and 360 respectively.

In 1919 Field Farm was again up for sale and the sale particulars described the former Plough Inn as Lot 4 noting that it now contained four sitting rooms and a lobby. The tenant was J. T. Cox whose rent was £12 per annum [HN7/1/HOC2]. This time the former inn was conveyed to Julia Sophia Stevens of Stanbridge, widow, for £200 [SH258/2]. The following year Julia sold the property to William Saunders of Eggington for £270 [SH258/2]. In his will Saunders devised the former Plough to miller Albert Bunker of Moor End Mill, Eaton Bray [SH258/2]. Bunker conveyed the property to Harry Sear of Eggington, farmer, for £350 in 1926 [SH258/2].

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer, visiting on 30th March 1927, found that the property was now owned and occupied by village builder H. Edwards [DV1/C174/57]. Presumably he bought it from Harry Sear. The valuer commented: “Very nice place – very lettable. Builder and Carpenter. Buildings unusually good”. Another hand was more grudging: “Not too bad”.

Accommodation comprised two living rooms, an office (12 feet by 15 feet), a kitchen and a larder with three main bedrooms and a small bedroom above. A brick and tiled coal barn stood outside.

Edwards’ work buildings outside comprised: a brick and slate carpenter’s shop (29 feet by 16 feet) with shafting and a circular saw; a brick and tiled open wood shed; a large weather-boarded and corrugated iron barn used as a wood store; a rough weather-boarded and corrugated iron shed. In an orchard stood a weather-boarded and slated open shed, a weather-boarded and corrugated iron scaffold shed and a weather-boarded and tiled two bay open timber shed.

In 2010 Plough Cottages was for sale. The particulars [Z449/5/13] describe a sitting room and dining area combined emasuring 20 feet by 13 feet 10 inches downstairs with a rear kitchen/breakfast room measuring 14 feet 4 inches by 9 feet 9 inches. A bathroom lay upstairs with three bedrooms measuring 14 feet 6 inches by 12 feet, 10 feet 2 inches by 8 feet and 12 feet 5 inches by 9 feet 9 inches respectively.


  • BML10/23/1: auction sale at the Plough: 1865;
  • BML10/23/2: auction sale at the Plough: 1869;
  • PSLB4/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Leighton Buzzard Petty Sessional Division: c.1860s-1949;
  • PSLB4/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Leighton Buzzard Petty Sessional Division: c.1860s-1956;
  • SH258/2: will of John Warner Adams: 1903;
  • HN10/348/2/1: lease: 1904;
  • SH258/2: mortgage: 1905;
  • SH258/2: assignment of mortgage: 1907;
  • SH258/2: will of J. J. R. Adams: 1909;
  • SH258/2: reconveyance: 1912;
  • HN7/1/EGG3: sale particulars: 1912;
  • HN7/1/HOC2: sale particulars: 1919;
  • SH258/2: conveyance: conveyance: 1920;
  • SH258/2: conveyance: 1921;
  • PSLB4/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Leighton Buzzard Petty Sessional Division: 1922-1948;
  • SH258/2: will of William Saunders: 1925;
  • SH258/2: conveyance: 1926;
  • SH258/1: right of way for the owner of the former Plough’s land over the neighbouring property: 1929;
  • Z449/5/13: sale particulars: 2010.

Licencees: note that this is not a complete list and that dates in italics are not necessarily beginning or end dates, merely the first/last date which can be confirmed from sources such as directories

1847-1869: William Pantling;
1876-1877: William John Inns;
1890-1894: Fred Dunton;
1898: Frederick Bennett;
1903-1904: Thomas Bailey;
1904-1905: Walter Pendleton;
1905-1906: John Smith;
1906-1907: John Frederick Bird;
1907: Leonard James Hickling;
1907-1908: George Harley Bellamy;
1908-1909: Benjamin Stacey;
1909-1911: Charles Henry Alford;
1911-1912: Palmer Longland;
1912-1913: William Thomas Hale;
1913-1914: Henry James Tyler;
1914-1918: Stephen Edward Giddins
Public house closed 1917.