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The Plough Inn







The Plough Inn

The Plough Inn, formally The Plough Hotel, is the only pub in the village. It is a 16th century pub and former coaching inn on the A39 Bridgwater to Minehead Road. It is a popular rendezvous for families, mountain bikers and walking parties. Chris Hayes is the current landlord.
The beer garden was originally the site of the village smithy which was attached to Forge Cottage. The smithy can be seen in some of The Plough Inn photos and in the 'Holford at work' section. It was demolished to make room for a car park and then transformed into a garden in 2000.

Haunting at The Plough

The Plough is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a Spanish merchant who stayed there on his way back to Bristol after trading in the South West. He boasted about all the gold he had acquired from his successful trading and was consequently robbed and m
urdered. It is said the Spaniard still makes his presence felt.
The date of the murder is unconfirmed, but is believed to have been 1555
 
 Virginia Woolfe and the Plough
 
 
Virginia and Leonard Woolfe spent their honeymoon in Holford at the Plough Inn in 1912.
They both had previous links with Holford. Virginia was good friends with Violet Dickinson, whose drawing of Alfoxton is in the Alfoxton photographs section.  Leonard was also a keen walker in this area before his marriage to Virginia.
On a postcard sent to her friend Lytton Strachey, Virginia wrote: “Divine country, literary associations, cream for every meal”
The following year Virginia was suffering from one of her recurring bouts of mental illness and, following medical advice, the couple took a holiday and chose to revisit the pub. In his autobiography Leonard writes of The Plough: “The people who kept it were pure Holford folk. The food was delicious. Nothing could be better than the bread, butter, cream and eggs and bacon of the Somersetshire breakfast with which you begin your morning."  In his diary Leonard recorded Virginia’s swinging moods – “bad mornings and good evenings, delusions by day and peaceful nights, bad nights and cheerful days.” Increasingly concerned, he telegraphed for their friend Ka Cox to join them; she arrived the next day, the 2nd September. Despite her arrival Virginia was no better and the party returned to London six days later.
   
Viginia Woolfe and Violet Dickinson 1902
Virginia and Leonard Woolfe on their wedding day 1912
 
Landlords at The Plough Inn
 
As yet, there is not a complete list available of past landlords.
 
1889            Philip Stroud - Although William John Giles is listed on the 1881 Census
1891-1919    William John Giles (dob 1858), Sarah Ann Giles (dob 1861), Ernest G Giles (dob 1885 dod 19/04/1916) 1891 Ontario   Canada Census plus see Wartime      Holford  William John Giles emergrated back to Canada (Quebec) in 1926.  William Giles was the landlord at the time of  Virginia Woolfe's honeymoon.
1919             Wyndham Hy. Griffin   
1939             Wyndham Hy. Griffin
 
2000            Steve Cockburn 
2001            Closed with a view to change to a private residence. West Somerset Council refused the application.
2003            Re-opened by Matthew Hayes and Brian Pook
2008            Sold to Enterprise Inns
2008            Lesley & Hilary Biffen (Peters Sister), Peter Keates (leased) - now at the Swan in Kingston St. Mary Somerset
                     
       Between 2010 and 2012 there were various managers whilst still in the ownership of Hilary & Lesley Biffen including; 
                     Brian & Sarah Penny (now at The Foresters Arms Williton Somerset), Stuart & Jess Williams and Stuart & Maria ____
2012            Christopher Hayes (Stringston) & Michelle Smith (Combwich) lease the Plough from Enterprise Inns
Subpages (1): Virginia Woolfe
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