From Coalway Cross, with the Britannia Inn on the left-hand side, Coalway Lane or Road is the main route down Lords Hill towards Coleford. The Plough Inn was located on the right-hand side of the road directly opposite the Recreational Ground.  The building is now a private house and has a datestone above the arched entrance that reads ‘1828 H.W’. The ‘W’ presumably is the initial of the Wilcox family. In the 1891 licensing book detailing the pubs in the Forest, the Trustees of Edward Wilcox are listed as owners of the Plough Inn.  Maybe H.Wilcox, was Edward’s father.

Monmouthshire Beacon, Saturday 10th February 1872 – To be sold at auction, by Mr Charles Roberts: At the Plough Inn, Coalway Lane End, on Friday 23rd February in the afternoon, subject to conditions of the sale to be then produced: TWO small STONE-BUILT FREEHOLD COTTAGES with Gardens and Pigstye, situate at Coalway Lane End, near to the Plough Inn, and in the respective occupations of Emma Hardwick and George Smedley. For further particulars apply to Mr Noah Watkins, Grocer, or Mr J.T. Williams, Solicitor, Monmouth; or Mr Charles Roberts, House and Estate Agents, Coleford.

In 1891 the Plough is described as an ale house but, perhaps unusually, has a licence restricting it to 6 days so it was presumably closed on the Sabbath. The pub had an annual rateable value of £11.4s.0d. The Plough Inn started off as a “two room and one up” cottage which later was enlarged into the adjoining cottage which almost trebled its size.

George Salmon is recorded at the Plough Inn as a brewer in 1876, then aged 33. His father was Henry Salmon who had taken over the Coleford Brewery at the Spout in the town in 1857. Harry Clark took over Coleford Brewery in 1879, but ten years later it closed. It is possible that George Salmon was employed at the Coleford Brewery whilst also being the landlord of the Plough Inn. Or tantalisingly did George Salmon brew beer on the premises exclusively for the Plough? The 1891 licensing records give details that the Plough was free of brewery tie.

Western Mail, Saturday 27th January 1917 – To Let: Plough Inn, Coalway, Coleford; good trade and accommodation; large garden, sties, stable – Apply John Arnold & Sons, Wickwar.

John Arnold & Sons of the High Street Brewery in Wickwar are listed as owners of the Plough Inn twelve years later in 1903. It is interesting that Miss Mary Fox is the occupying landlady at that time. Mary Fox was a well-known local licensee who started off as a barmaid at the Wyndham Arms in Clearwell. Mary Fox owned the Lamb Inn in Gloucester Road, Coleford in 1903. When Mary called ‘last orders’ in the Plough at 10 pm each evening it is so tempting to think that she might have persuaded her customers to walk the short distance from the pub down Lords Hill and cut across to her other pub, the Lamb in Gloucester Road, to take advantage of the 11 pm closing time of  Coleford town pubs.

Although the Kelly’s Directory of 1939 lists George Tillings as landlord he died on 6th November 1937 at the Plough.

Gloucester Citizen, Tuesday 7th March 1950 – Lydney District Darts League Finals: The play-offs of Lydney and District Darts League takes place at the Swan Hotel, Lydney, on Saturday. Miners Arms (Whitecroft) meet Plough Inn (Coalway) to decide Section “B” 301-up.

Landlords at the Plough Inn include:

1863,1870 Edward Wilcox

1876 George Salmon (listed as a brewer)

1891 Alfred Louis Walter Barrett

1902,1914 Miss Mary Fox (she moved to the White Swan)

1914 (February) William S Burraston

1917 Mrs Gertrude Thomas

1919 William Robertson (‘temporarily transferredmas’

1927 Geo. Cole

1935, 1939 George Tilling

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