History of the Plough Inn at Trysull in the county of Staffordshire. Research is augmented with photographs, details of licensees, stories of local folklore, census data, newspaper articles and a genealogy connections section for those studying their family history.



 

Plough Inn
Plough Inn

Some History of this Pub
The Plough Inn is located on Trysull's School Road and, like many of the neighbouring timber-framed properties, has a rich history. Originally a farmhouse, the 17th century building is thought to have been converted into a public house around 1833. The publican Charles Munday was still recorded as a farmer in the Edwardian era so it is not surprising that he should trade under the sign of The Plough.

Ash Tree Lodge outside the Plough Inn [c.1906]

This superb photograph shows a gathering of the Ash Tree Lodge outside the pub in the early part of the twentieth century. The licensee at the time was Charles Munday who kept the pub until 1915. Compare the pub in this photograph to that in the modern images above and you will see a great deal of continuity - not much has changed in over a century.

The sale notice [pictured to the right] provides details of the building when it was sold at auction on June 7th 1937. The pub, it states, has 'a large garden and outbuildings, containing an approximate area of 9,000 square yards. The major portion being let to Messrs. W. Butler & Co. Ltd., upon lease expiring on 29th September 1939 at a low rental of £60 per annum.'

The Plough Inn was for sale along with three freehold cottages with 'exceptionally good gardens and producing a gross rental of £44.4s.0d per annum, and also a detached freehold cottage with large garden, lately in the occupation of the deceased, with possession on completion of the purchase.' The deceased in question was Mary, the elderly widow of Charles Munday. She had run the pub following her husband's death but probably elected to take things easy in later life and leased the property to Butler's Springfield Brewery.

Wall Painting at the Plough Inn

The building's history is both intriguing and secretive. The Plough certainly has some hidden mysteries tucked away in its fabric, including an ancient frieze in an upstairs room that some suggest depicts witches and demons. If this is the case then another legend further compounds the intrigue. The pub is supposed to have an underground tunnel network which is thought to have been used by occultists during Trysull's past. Whatever, someone in the past respected the frieze to the extent of protecting it and building a frame as a safeguard.

The Plough Inn was the third public house to be licensed in Trysull. It opened its doors in 1833, a beer house in a small terraced cottage rented by agricultural labourer William Bradley.

By 1840, John Munday had taken the licence. He was recorded in the 1841 census aged 32. He lived at the pub with his Trysull-born wife, Hannah, and a son called John. There was another beer house in Trysull called The Vine on the Green. It opened in the 1840's and closed around 1910.

John Munday died in 1847, the tenancy of the Plough Inn and premises passing to his blacksmith brother Charles. The Victorians do not make the life of the historian easy - this clan seemed to name everyone John and Charles. There was another John Munday, a tailor who moved from  Trysull to Wall Heath where he kept the Albion Inn. He had a son called Charles who would later be involved here at the Plough Inn.

A full alehouse licence had by now been granted by local magistrates. On the 12th April 1848, Charles Munday raised a £50 mortgage to buy the property.

The Plough was now an inn which permitted the house to remain open as long as a bed was empty, offering basic accommodation, simple victuals, homebrewed ale and stabling to the lawful traveller. Charles Munday kept the pub with his wife Maria who hailed from Coseley.

The Plough Inn was a homebrew house. In the early Victorian days most rural pubs brewed their own beer.

Following the death of Charles Munday the licence of the Plough Inn passed to Charles Whitmore Munday. He was the son of John and Elizabeth Munday who kept the Albion Inn at Wall Heath. He was documented in the 1881 census aged 29, as a farmer not a blacksmith like his predecessor. He lived here with his wife, Clara, and a family of three. They employed two servants which suggests a reasonably prosperous business.

Mortgages to extend the premises and buy the cottage were negotiated in 1882 and 1902. Charles Whitmore Munday held the licence until his death in 1915, his widow Mary taking the licence, which she held for another nine years before Frank Williams took over as tenant.

The Munday's had been consecutive licensees for 84 years. On 16th January 1925, Mary Munday confirmed a fourteen year lease of the Plough Inn and Bowling Green to Wolverhampton brewers William Butler & Co. Ltd., at a yearly rental of £55.

Mary Munday died on February 14th 1937 leaving the Plough Inn, bowling green, land and four cottages to her remaining family. The premises were auctioned at the Victoria Hotel, Wolverhampton on Monday June 7th 1937.

Bromsgrove manufacturer Douglas John Vaughan bought the Plough Inn and premises. Two years later he sold to Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries Ltd. for £3,600.

Regulars enjoying a drink in The Plough [2002]

I took this photograph when I visited the pub in 2002 when Bill and Sue Reece were running the Plough Inn. At that stage the couple had worked in pubs and clubs for over 24 years. It was when Bill was made redundant from a paint factory that he decided to follow his parents into the licensed trade. Bill's dad had worked as a drayman for M&B.

Working for Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, Bill and Sue ended up working all over the place including a spell as far away from their Wolverhampton home as Derby where they managed The Grand Stand. Bill had also enjoyed a brief semi-professional football career when playing for Halesowen Harriers.

Bill and Sue took over The Plough as managers in 1997 but five years later they took over the tenancy with the Union Pub Company, a W&D-funded spin-off set up after the 1989 beer orders. The couple were helped by their son, Leon, and a friendly team of staff which included an Aussie called Skip - well, that's what the locals dubbed him. He moved to England for a different taste of the world. He gained previous experience in the Red Lion at Haywards Heath before arriving at The Plough where he was a popular 'import' with the villagers.

Of course, I have visited The Plough on a number of occasions. The oldest section of the building appears to be in the middle where I have to duck because the bowed ceiling timbers are so low. Apart from holding the upper floors up, they serve another important role in adding great character to The Plough.
© Copyright. Images supplied by Digital Photographic Images.

 

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Licensees of this Pub
1834 - 1840 William Bradley
1840 - 1847 John Munday
1847 - 1880 Charles Munday
1880 - 1915 Charles Whitmore Munday
1915 - 1924 Mary Maria Munday
1924 - 1930 Frank Williams
1930 - 1940 Robert Woolley
1940 - 1946 Thomas Stanley Inkson
1946 - 1952 Thomas E. Collingwood
1952 - 1954 William Percy Biddle
1954 - 1956 Gerald Horace Webb
1956 - 1965 Frederick Norman Rogers
1965 - 1968 Doris Rogers
1968 - 1973 Nicholas James Murphy
1973 - 1997 Roy Allen
1997 - William George Reece

Sale Notice for the Plough Inn [1937]

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Genealogy Connections
"Can you help me find out about John Munday's death? He was kicked by a horse and died from his injuries. He lived in Trysull and was married to Hannah Grainger. He died in 1848. He was my gggrandfather.
Christine Daniels, Helston, Cornwall

If you have a genealogy story or query regarding this pub you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Staffordshire Genealogy.

Map
Map showing the Plough Inn

Inn Sign
Inn Sign of the Plough Inn [2010]
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Links to other Websites
Trysull and Seisdon Website

God Speed The Plough and the Woman Who Drives It

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Banks's Imperial Mild Ale [1960's]

Banks's Imperial Mild Ale [c.1948]

Newspaper Articles
"When it closed its doors suddenly weeks ago, villagers feared the historic Plough Inn would be left to rot as a derelict eyesore just like many before it.

But after being taken over by businessman Chris Silcox, the 18th century Trysull pub has been given a new lease of life. After a grand launch which saw the grounds of the quaint country pub transformed with a marquee and disco, the 58-year-old, who also runs Kingswinford’s Arizona Crossing, has vowed to turn around its fortunes and take it into a successful new era.

Weekly performances by live bands have already been pencilled in at the School Road pub as well as over-25s discos every Friday night and a new Black Country-themed menu complete with faggots and peas.

Security staff have been employed to ensure there is no trouble and Mr Silcox said family fun days, featuring an outside bar, marquee, barbecues and karaokes will be held every Sunday from May.

On top of the new packed programme it has also been revealed that around £300,000 will be ploughed into creating a new function room, which is hoped will come alive with bustling birthday and wedding parties, as well as a new restaurant.

Brewery Marston’s, which runs the pub, is hoping to kick off work on the new development in October.

Mr Silcox, of Wall Heath, said today: “We want to make the pub part of the community and create a strong relationship with all of the villagers and locals.

“It is not going to be anything like the Arizona Crossing because this is a country pub and that is the way it should be run. There is some really good food on the menu now and we’ve got lots of events lined up and live music every week.”
"Pub ploughing a new furrow"
in
Express and Star
March 26th 2008
© Copyright. Image supplied by Express and Star

Cyclists' Touring Club Headquarters

Quotation
Benjamin Franklin
“Then plough deep while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.”
Benjamin Franklin

Abraham Cowley
“We may talk as we please of lilies, and lions rampant, and spread eagles in fields of d'or or d'argent, but if heraldry were guided by reason, a plough in the field arable would be the most noble and ancient arms.”
Abraham Cowley

Soviet Ploughing Poster

Plough Now!

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Banks's Beer Mat [1970's]

Banks's Mild Ale [1959]

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Bar Parlour Stained Glass

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Publican

Public Bar Stained Glass
 

Woman Serving Beer

Brewery Buildings