Page Updated:- Tuesday, 01 January, 2019.


Earliest ???? (Name to)


Open 2019+

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.

Plough 1960s

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

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."


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.”



POUT Henry 1864+

SILK John 1881-26/Sept/95+ (also Agricultural Labourer age 68 in 1881Census

COPPINS Edward 1900+

SANDIFORD James Gilbert to Nov/1915 Whitstable Times

MONK John Nov/1915+ Whitstable Times

HARVEY George 1918+

HARVEY Edward George 1938+


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:-