Page Updated:- Wednesday, 03 April, 2024.


Earliest ???? (Name to)


Open 2020+

100 St John's Road


01227 792428


Above photo, date unknown, photo by Douglas West.

Plough Inn

Above photo, date unknown, showing the pub in the background.

Plough 1930

Above photo circa 1930, kindly sent by Garth Wyver.

Whitbread sign.

Plough card 1955Plough card 1955

Above card issued March 1955. Sign series 4 number 31.

Plough 1958

Above postcard, circa 1958, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Plough 1960s

Above photo 1960s, showing the route 41 to the "Sportsman" at Seasalter. Kindly sent by Garth Wyver.

Plough 1968

Above postcard, circa 1969, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

John and Linda Dolan

Above photo showing John and Linda Dolan, late 70s.

Plough 2015

Above photo 2015 by Chris Whippet Creative Commons Licence.


I have also seen this incorrectly addressed as Whitstable.

The original "Plough" was situated in what is now St. John's Road, and was demolished in 1938. The new build was set back from the road behind the old "Plough."

Christing Warren tells me the following:- "John Silk, was my Great-Great Grandfather, was born in 1813 and died in 1895 aged 82, the census of 1881 and 1891 give him as landlord.

John was married to Elizabeth Pout, whose father was my 3 x Great-Grandfather George Pout 1789 - 1870. He showed up as landlord on the 1851 and 1861 Census, although in 1851 it was listed as the Plough Beer House, and in 1861 as the Plough Beer Shop.

I am certain the Henry Pout you have listed is related to me as well. George and his wife Sarah had a grandson by the name of Henry, age 6 living with them at The Plough in 1851, possibly he grew up to take it over in 1864 at age 19."


From the Kentish Chronicle, 18 June, 1864.


Charles White, labourer, was charged with stealing a pair of slippers, the properly of Mr. Henry Pout, landlord of the “Plough” public-house, Whitstable, (sic) and a shirt the property of Mr. Ruck, of Whitstable. It appeared that on Wednesday the prisoner called at the “Plough,” and after he left the slippers were missed. Information was given to the police, and the prisoner was discovered to have been dealing with the slippers. With regard to the shirt, it appeared that the prisoner had lodged at Ruck's house a fortnight and left on Wednesday morning. On Thursday the shirt was missed and it was found in the possession of the prisoner when he was apprehended.

The Magistrates sentenced the prisoner to gaol for 21 days for the first offence, and 7 days for the second, with hard labour.


Probate 1900.

John Silk of the "Plough" beerhouse Swalecliffe Kent beer retailer died 26 September 1895. Probate Canterbury 7 February to John Silk dairyman Effects 59 16s 6d. Resworn April 1900 61 16s 4d. Former grant December 1895.


From the Whitstable Times, 28 July, 1900.



Edward Coppins was summoned for permitting drunkenness on the premises of the "Plough Inn," Swalecliffe, on the 26th June.

Mr R. M. Mercer and Mr. E. G. Walthew appeared for defendant, who pleaded not guilty.

Superintendent Jacobs deposed that on the 26th June, about 8 p.m., he was driving past defendant’s house when he heard shouting and laughing. He went down and went inside, and in the tap-room he found from 18 to 20 men. Two of the men, James Price and Edward Croucher were in a helpless state of drunkenness, and Mark Clements was staggering about in the middle of the room. A great many more men were more or less drunk. Witness arrested Price and Croucher, and asked for the landlord. A man named Goldfinch said that he was the landlord.

Mr. Mercer said, that it was the custom in Court and in every Court in East Kent to grant an incoming tenant an authority to draw after he had been given permission. In this case defendant went out on the 23rd June, and Mr. Gardener, who was the valuer, was instructed to apply on the 30th June for a temporary authority for a new tenant, whose name was Goldfinch. Mr. Gardener would evidence that the client could not be held responsible for the conduct of the house. Defendant did not permit the drunkenness to take place, and he had no right in law to go to the house after he had left it. He had parted with the lease and the license according to the rules of that Court. and he, therefore, could not be held responsible. Under those circumstances he submitted the case must fall to the ground.

Mr. E. L. Gardener, auctioneer and valuer, Canterbury, stated that he acted between the outgoing tenant Coppin and the incoming tenant Goldfinch. The change took place about 3 o'clock on the 23rd June, and he received instructions to apply for the temporary authority on the following Saturday, the 30th June. It was the custom for tenants to go in first and sell, and apply for a temporary authority afterwards. Defendant left the house on the 23rd June. He was paid his valuation on that day, and he handed over the license.

Defendant deposed that he gave up the licence on the 23rd June. He was paid his money in the afternoon of that day, and went out about two o'clock. He went to Borstal Hill, where he had taken a private house. He had not been near the house since he went out.

The Chairman said that if Mr. Mercer's contention was right the house might be having to cope with drunkenness for a whole week. Someone surely must be responsible for the conduct of the house.

Mr. Mercer said he was sure the Bench would take in that all law was based on common sense.

The Chairman:- Oh! no. (Laughter.)

Mr. Mercer again submitted that his client only acted in accordance with the old standing rule of the Court.

The Bench retired, and on their return, the Chairman said they had given this peculiar case their best consideration, and endeavoured to define the common sense of law. They were of opinion that the outgoing tenant's responsibility did not cease until the application for a temporary authority had been confirmed by the magistrates. Therefore, they were of opinion that defendant was legally guilty, but morally innocent. He would be fined the nominal sum of 1, and 11s. costs.

Mr. Mercer said that his client would probably appeal.

The Chairman:- And then perhaps we shall get a clearer definition of the law. Someone must hold the license.

A summons against James Goldfinch for selling intoxicating liquor without a license on the same premises on the 26th June was then heard.

Defendant pleaded not guilty.

Superintendent Jacobs deposed that when he found the men on the premises more or less drunk he asked for the landlord. Defendant said that he was the landlord. Witness asked him when he took possession of the house, and he replied "Twelve o'clock last Saturday." Witness asked him where the outgoing tenant was, and he said he believed he had gone to Herne Bay. Witness told him he had no right to sell, and he replied that he had been put in by the brewers. He also said that he was going to apply on the following Saturday for a temporary authority. He did not know he was doing wrong. There were ten quart pots, seven pint pots and several glasses which had been recently used, standing alone by.

By Mr. Mercer:- He always thought the ingoing tenant did not sell until after he had got the authority of the Magistrates. He knew that was the custom in the West Kent Division. He did not know the practice of the East Kent Courts. He had only been the Superintendent of the Home Division three months.

Mr. Mercer called Mr. Gardener, who repeated his evidence, but added that defendant, who repeated his evidence, but added that defendant was not put in by the brewers. It had always been the rule of the Court to grant a temporary authority after the tenant had got possession.

Mr. Mercer said that the Bench had convicted Coppin, and they could not convict this man. He admitted that the present defendant was morally the guilty man, but according to the decision in the first case he was noting to do with the house. He respectfully submitted that justice had gone astray in these cases. Defendant went in the house according to the rules of the Court, and although he sold without a license so to speak, yet he was selling under the rules of the Court. The Bench had acquitted in this rule for upwards of 25 years, and he did not see how they could now turn round and convict defendant.

The Chairman said the Bench had decided to dismiss the case. They could not agree with Mr. Mercer that it was the rule of the Court. It was a custom of the trade, brewery, and valuer, and the sooner it was stopped the better. He denied that the Bench had acquired in the practise, or knew anything about it till the notices came before them. It was monstrous that an individual could take possession of a house and intoxicate a whole neighbourhood. The Bench thought an innocent man had been punished and a guilty man had got off.


From the Whitstable Times, 15 November, 1902.


On Monday afternoon the Coroner for East Kent, Mr. R. M. Mercer, held an inquest at the “Plough Inn,” Swalecliffe, on the body of Thomas Tuff, of Sea Villa, Swalecliffe, the foreman of the Jury being Edmund Reid.

Mary Tuff, the widow of deceased, identified the body as that of her husband, and stated that he was 65 years of age and a naval pensioner. On Sunday morning he appeared somewhat despondent, and she suggested that he should go and have a chat with a friend. She did not see him again until he was brought back with his throat cut. He died about three the same afternoon. He had never threatened to take his life. She had been married about seven months, and was at the time a widow. The house belonged to her.

Mr. W. Holness deposed that he found deceased in the fields of Swalecliffe with his throat cut. He at once gave information to the local constable, who immediately proceeded to the spot pointed out.
P.C. Heaps, stationed at Swalecliffe, stated that from information received he went to the marshes at Swalecliffe and saw deceased lying on his right side. There were blood stains about the spot, and he was bleeding from the throat. He was then alive. With assistance he took deceased to his home on a hurdle, he died about 3.30 p.m. Witness found a bloodstained razor and also the case. He spoke to deceased before he died in reference to the affair, and he replied “Sorry, sorry, sorry.” On asking him what made him do it he shook his head. Deceased was a steady man.

One of the jurymen stated that the deceased had lived unhappily with his wife.

Witness, continuing, said that a blood stained envelope was found with the following wording “Mary, good-bye, God bless you, feel going mad. Good-bye. Tom.”

Another juror stated that about a week ago he spoke to deceased. He appeared to be in a melancholy state.

Mary Tuff, re-called, stated that she had not quarrelled with her husband, and she could not account for his rash act. She did not notice that he had taken his razor with him and she fully expected that he would return to dinner. She had never had a misword with him, and it was not true that she had been untrue to him. She had always been kind to him.

The Coroner having summed up, the jury returned a verdict of “Suicide while temporarily insane.”


From the 18th July 2018.


A motorcycle rider is this evening recovering in hospital following a two vehicle collision on St Johns Road Swalecliffe in Kent.

Emergency services were called to the scene on the outskirts of Whitstable just after 8.30pm on Tuesday evening (July 17th).

A section of road outside The Plough Inn was closed between St John Road and Plough Lane whilst Paramedics from South East Coast Ambulance service treated the rider after he was thrown from his machine. Officers from Kent Police carried out collision scene investigation work.

The driver of the blue Ford focus is understood to have ploughed into the rider near to the entrance of The Plough Inn. Both vehicles have needed to be recovered by Police contractors as a result of the collision. That is not thought to be serious.

Kent Police said: A 54-year-old motorcyclist has suffered serious injuries after a crash.

Police and paramedics were called out to St Johns Road in Swalecliffe, near Whitstable, just before 8.30pm last night after the crash between a car and a motorcycle.

South East Coast Ambulance Service treated the motorcyclist at the scene before taking him to a local hospital.

His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

We closed the road while both vehicles were recovered and it later reopened at 11.53pm


From the By Lydia Chantler-Hicks, 17 May 2019.

Sneak peek inside The Plough pub in Swalecliffe, Whitstable, run by Mel Evans.

The Plough pub in Swalecliffe is reopening tomorrow after being closed for nine months with a brand-new look.

KentOnline has been given an exclusive peek inside the drinking spot, which has been taken over by Mel Evans after it closed down nine months ago.

The 44-year-old was previously a manager at the "Wheatsheaf" in Whitstable and worked for eight years at Swalecliffe & Chestfield Community Centre.

Mel Evans 2019

Mel behind the bar at The Plough.

"I've known all the locals for years," she explained.

"They said it would be so nice to have another pub back again - loads of them used to use this pub until last year when it unfortunately started going downhill."

Mel originally hadn't planned to take over The Plough, but made enquiries after it closed last August.

"I was just being nosy," said the mum-of-two.

"Then suddenly they asked 'are you interested?' and I thought 'you know what, yeah'.

"When I walked in to view it, it was awful - the carpet was being ripped up, the building was just in a state really.

Plough carpet

The pub's carpeting has been removed, to make way for wooden floors.

"But I knew I could make it work. It's a lovely building."

Since signing the deeds a fortnight ago, she and husband Chris have been working hard to transform the pub, alongside owners Enterprise.

"It's been very quick," said Mel. "I said I'll get it turned around as quick as I can, and stand by my word.

Plough bar 2019

"I feel I'm at the right age to be doing this - my kids are old enough - and I just love the life.

"It's going to be a traditional pub - you'll be able to come in, have a chat.

"The pub always had a really good reputation until the last few months before it closed. But customers miss coming in for a drink. Lots live very nearby.

"I've worked here so long, but used to live in Whitstable. To live in Swalecliffe is amazing - the community feel is lovely.

"I've had cards through the door, everyone's been so welcoming - I've never known anything like it."

Mel is keen to get involved in all aspects of the business - from waiting tables to cleaning glasses and pulling pints.

"I won't be hiding," she said. "I've been working in bars for 18 years - I love coming out and having a chat with them all.

"It's good for all the old boys as well - lots are on their own, and will like to pop in, even just for a coffee."

Only the main bar area of the pub will be opening tomorrow - replete with a darts board available for use by local leagues and a jukebox, while pool tables yet to be delivered.

Children will be asked to stay out of the main bar, but will be welcome in the garden and the airy restaurant area - which is due to be up and running in about two months.

"I've got no kitchen at the moment, but I'm thinking of having a barbecue during half term," said Mel. "The beer garden's lovely, and when the sun's shining that's exactly what you need.

"When the restaurant opens in about eight weeks, the food will all be fresh and home made -I don't want frozen food - just nice traditional carveries, pies, burgers, steaks, fish on Friday.

"A man down the road asked if I'd be interested in hosting curry nights, and I said I'd love it - there's no Indian restaurant in Swalecliffe."

The Plough is opening at 3pm tomorrow (May 18), with a disco starting at 7.30pm. It will then open from 11.30am until 11pm daily except for Sundays, when it will close at 10pm.


From the By Brad Harper, 4 September 2019.

Man arrested on suspicion of drink driving after van smashes into The Plough pub in Swalecliffe.

A suspected drink driver was stopped by punters from speeding off after a van smashed into a pub's fence.

The vehicle, which had two other passengers, reversed through a car park fence at The Plough in Swalecliffe.

Mel Evans

Landlady Mel Evans next to the damaged fence.

But when the driver reportedly attempted to escape, landlady Mel Evans, her husband Chris and two others took his van keys.

The smashed occurred at about 6.30pm on Bank Holiday Monday (August 26).

The pub had been due to close 30 minutes later so the landlady could spend time with her family.

Mrs Evans said: "I was in the cellar cleaning and one of my barmaids came running in. She said, 'someone has broken into the garden'.

"We came out of the pub and he was trying to drive off. My neighbours came out because he had hit the fence.

"We took the keys straight out of the van, stopped him and kept him here. We were not letting him go.

"The police arrived really quickly - within 10 minutes they were here."

The man was not one of Mrs Evans' customers and she said he arrived after watching a Whitstable vs Herne Bay match.

She added: "It certainly made for an interesting Bank Holiday evening."

A police spokesperson said: "Officers attended the scene and arrested a man on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

"No injuries were reported and enquiries are ongoing."


During the Covid 19 crisis of 2020, this pub was able to offer a take away service in June, possibly earlier.



POUT George 1851-61+ (also Agricultural Labourer age 67 in 1861Census)

POUT Henry 1864+

POUT Sarah 1871+ (age 78 in 1871Census)

SILK John 1881-26/Sept/95+ (also Agricultural Labourer age 77 in 1891Census)

SILK James 1891+ (also Agricultural Labourer age 56 in 1891Census)

COPPINS Edward 1900+

HAWKETT James 1901+ (age 55 in 1901Census)

HAISELL Frank 1911+ (age 33 in 1911Census)

SANDIFORD James Gilbert to Nov/1915 Whitstable Times

MONK John Nov/1915+ Whitstable Times

HARVEY George 1918+

HARVEY Edward George 1938+

DOLAN John & Linda late 1970s+


Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald



If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-