Earliest information: 1779 (?1663)
Original estate: Dean and Canons of Windsor
Common Rights? No
Date of current building: ?17th century, with 19th century facade
Dean & Canons of Windsor -> ?Lafford (1663) -> An Inn from c1685 -> "Plume of Feathers" (1764 onwards)
Description of property:
- The Plume, Mar 2007
- Market Place, 1870 showing The Plume of Feathers on the right
- The Plume Hotel, c1909 [Albert Parsons] (SH)
- The Plume Hotel, undated. (Kindly sent by Dr Jim Whittaker)
This was originally a property owned by the Dean & Canons of Windsor. As such, the summary of ownership of these lands (referred to as "estate" = land, tithes and church in Peake's Chapter 10 in Rev. Summers 'The Story of Hungerford' was:
1103-1118: Church in H'ford built sometime between these dates Robert, 1st Earl of Leicester granted "estate" to the Church of Beaumont, then in
1142 Robert transferred "estate" to the Abbey of Bec.
1291 "Estates" of Abbey of Bec in H'ford attached to a prebendal stall at Salisbury Cathedral. Church in H'ford transferred to the Priory of Ogbourne, a cell of the Abbey of Bec.
1324-1325 Priory of Ogbourne still held "estates"
1341 Abbot of "estate" = Rector of Hungerfford, held 2 carucates of land, worth 60 shillings a year.
WAR: Hundred years war with France ending 1453: King Henry IV (1399-1413) took 'alien' Priory of Ogbourne "estates". King Henry V (1413-1422) granted the "estates" to his brother, Duke of Bedford. Latter died 1435 & left the "estates" to his nephew, King Henry VI (son of Henry V, had 2 reigns - 1422- 1461 & 1470-1471) endowed "estates" to the Dean & Canons of Windsor sometime after 1435 BUT the Archives of St. George's Chapel quote 1421 as the date of the Ogbourn Priory Endowment to D & C of Windsor.
DISSOLUTION: King Henry VIII's reign (1491-1547) saw the Dissolution of the monasteries in 1536. In H'ford the properties of D&C W survived but the Chantries of the Holy Trinity & St. Mary were confiscated.
1614: The heresay Commoners Rights given by John of Gaunt to the inhabitants of H'ford sometime between 1360-1381 & entrusted by various legal arrangements during the years of 1612-1617 to the Trustees/Feoffees of the Town & Manor, were NOT given to those properties which were owned by the Deans & Canons of Windsor, ie 113, 112 H/S & others.
The Lafford family, 1663-c1690s:
1663-64 (Norman Hidden) The 1663 and 1664 Hearth Tax returns show, by position, that 113 High Street (or possibly 112 High Street), was occupied by John Lafford.
- His D/S will dated 1684 and proven May 1685 describes him as a victualler. He leaves to his loving wife Mary "the messuage in which I now dwell". He seems to have had no children, leaves the residue of his estate to his nephew Adam Lafford (son of his brother Adam Lafford).
- There is an inventory which includes 10½ years of lease remaining. The leasehold helps to treate(?) the property as a tenement of the D&CW, and Lafford's occupation as a victualler perhaps to identify it with what is known later as the Plume of Feathers. This supposition is strengthened by the Hearth Tax return which indicates 4 hearths, more than the average private house.
The earliest reference to the property as an inn, 1685:
1685 See Inventory of John Lafford
- John Lafford was buried 27th March 1685.
- A Mary Lafford was buried April 1687, and another in April 1691.
- Shortly after her husband's death in 1685 "widow Lawford", as Summers calls her (p. 148) had quartered on her a wounded soldier from the Battle of Sedgemoor. His wounds, we are told, were dressed by Peter Passion and he was fortified with spirits. This incident also quite clearly points to the use of the house as an inn. Peter Passion, judging by the same hearth Tax to which reference has already been made, lived about two doors away.
- Although the business seems to have continued after John Lafford's death, we do not know what happened after that of his widow.
- Nephew Adam Lafford died in 1695. His will describes him as yeoman – which may refer to any kind of self-employment. He left a widow Dorothy who, it would seem, was his third wife, a previous Elizabeth giving birth to his daughter Emma(?) (who is mentioned in his will) and who later married ..?.. Stokes. Elizabeth who died in 1664/5.
- Adam married a second wife Mary nee Savage in 1685, but she died in 1686 or 1691. In 1693 he married Dorothy Watts.
- In 1652 Adam lived in a house owned by Edward Jenkins. The Hearth Tax lists of 1663 also show him at a separate address from his uncle John Lafford, a one-hearther cottage [?possibly rectorial ?chantry] either part of 35HS or 36HS.
"The Feathers" (1764) and "The Plume of Feathers" (1765):
1764 (Norman Hidden) "Received of Jn Whale 1/2 year rent for the Feathers due at Michaelmas 1s 10d. This is the earliest reference to "The Feathers" by name
1765 (Norman Hidden) 26th October: Answer taken by Commissioners (E112/Berks/5geoIII/Easter 19) taken at the house of "John (or ?Joseph) Lawrence know as The Plume of Feathers".
1779 (Norman Hidden Sun Fire Insurance vol 278 policy no. 419194 dated 5th October 1779) Elizabeth Pierce – alehouse keeper – on household goods in her dwelling house known as The Plume of Feather. Brick and tiled.
1814 (Survey of the Parish of Hungerford Dec.1814 by James Pain) "Plume & Feathers Publick House (Thomas Salter) 2 rooms in front, Dineing Parlor, Bar room, cellar & other offices, 6 Sleeping rooms, Stableing for 10 horses. (Garden Cottage & Garden above. Arable land in the Breach Field 1 acre, 1 rod, 1 perch. The above under repair. Value £25-0-0. ". See copy of original survey CC120149 from Archives, St George's Chapel, Windsor. [The Breach = old Common Field between Park St / Fairview Road / Priory Road and Port Down.].
1819 (EA) "Feathers"
1823 (Pigot) Thomas Salter, innkeeper.
1830 (Pigot) Thomas Salter.
1841 (CS) Ann Salter (60) Publican.
1844 (Pigot and Snare) "Plume of Feathers" tavern and PH: Thomas Salter.
1847 (Kelly) George Salter, although Snare Directory still had T. Salter.
1850 (Snare) George Slater, innkeeper
1851 (Census) George Slater (44), innkeeper; Martha Salter (40), Mary Harris (18) Domestic servant.
1854 (Billing) George Slater "Brewer and Maltster".
1861 (Census) George Sellwood
1862 (Lacks Directory) The Hope Friendly Society (Benefit Club) was held at The Plume of Feathers Inn.
1863 (Dutton & Allen) George Sellwood, "The Feathers"
1864 (Billing) George Sellwood, "Plume of Feathers"
1869-1877: Abel Blake is named in the 1869 Kelly, 1869 Post Office Directory, 1871 census, Abel Blake (58) and 1877 Kelly. (In the 1861 Census he had been publican at Barley Mow. Mr & Mrs RW Blake, 9 Court Drive, Sutton, Surrey, say he was previously miller at Denford.)
1881 (CS) "Plume of Feathers" - Elizabeth Blake (66) Innkeeper.
1886 (DD) Charles Osmond (formerly Postmaster H'ford) bought from Dean & Canons of Windsor.
1886 (DD) Charles Osmond sold the cottage & garden at east end of site to his son - Charles Alexander Osmond. (Deeds state cottage "late occup'n of James Wells, bounded N by Park Street, S by gardens of Charles Bodman, E cottages of Giles Miller, W by garden of Plume of Feathers.
1889 (DD) Charles Osmond snr sold to son Charles Alexander Osmond for £700.
1891 (Kelly) Charles Alexander Osmond - "The Plume" Family & Commercial hotel, fishing parties accommodated (loose boxes).
1891 (DD) C.A. Osmond sold to Frank Blatch, of Theale for £1,650.
1895 (Kelly) Mrs. Lizzie Brown, "Plume Hotel"
1899 (KD) William Weaver
20th century landlords included:
1900 (Cosburn's Dir) W Weaver, the "Plume" inn.
1903 (KD) William Weaver, "Plume Hotel"
1915 (Kelly Dir) Mrs Amy Sarah Parlley, Plume Hotel.
1919 (Courage Brewery, archives at Windsor) Owned by widow Blatch & son Herbert - sold to Newbury Brewery. Follow this to download the Indenture of 13.10.1919: Sale of property to Newbury Brewing Co for £1,550.
1920 (KD) "Plume Hotel" - Licensee: Felix Lloyd Powell.
1920 Kelly: Felix Lloyd Powell [Trudie Pihlens heard a radio programme in July 2006 which referred to Felix, and his wife Mabel, taking over The Plume Inn in Hungerford in ?1915 – he had written "Pack up your Troubles in your old Kit Bag". From Google I find: "Reproduced below are the lyrics to one of the songs definitively synonymous with the First World War, Pack up your Troubles.Written by George Asaf (words; Asaf was a pseudonym for George Powell) and Felix Powell (music) the song achieved instant success when published by Chappell & Co. in London in 1915.]
c.1920 Approximate date for pebble-dash rendering to main building.
1924 (Kelly) "Plume Hotel" Walter Pye
1928 Kelly: H.J. Tavender
1931 Kelly: Harry C. Hutton
1931 (Courage Brewery, archives at Windsor) Newbury Brewery Co sold to H & G Simonds Ltd
1935 Kelly: James W.V. Dunsden
1936 Kelly: James Dunsden
1939 Kelly: Leslie W. Talbot
1939 (BL) Plume Hotel (L.G.W. Talbot)
1939 (KD) "Plume Hotel" - licensee: Leslie W. Talbot. (for 35 years from 1937-72!)
1962 (Courage Brewery, archives at Windsor) Courage Brewery took over H & G Simonds, to become Courage Barclay & Simonds Ltd.
1972-81 (Courage Brewery, archives at Windsor) Morton Country Inns: Lic'ee: Alan Scott-Morton Beard
(Ken Nisbett) Says error re Morton ownership.
(Ken Nisbett) Says 1796 map shows stables and cottage, half way up strip.
1981 (Courage Brewery, archives at Windsor) : Licencee: Frank Richard Sidley.
1981 (Ken Nisbett) Kenneth Robert & Elizabeth Nisbett occ. Courage Brewery owners.
Undated: Greene King become owners.
In 1993 Frank Metcalfe, licencee
1999 Refurbished and upgraded
c.2004 Jimmy Weir
c2010 James Weir
Jul 2015 New manager - a consortium. Manager Eamon McGreal. See "Consortium takes over The Plume", NWN 6 Aug 2015.
Nov 2015 Name changed to "The Hungerford Arms".
31st May 2019: New managers: Diane and Robert Hall, aka Diggy and Fluey. Name restored to "The Plume of Feathers".