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The Plough Inn

High Street

Public House


The Old Plough Inn - Up for Sale c1963-4

Source : John Whittington


10 High Street - June 2009

Plough Barra Cob.jpeg

Plough Inn : simplified Barradell family tree

Owners are shown in red

The Parkinson Legacy

When the Plough Inn public house was sold on Monday, 5th March 1849, it was described as a 'commodious and well accustomed Old Licenced Public house'. It was purchased by Harriett Parkinson, whose husband Henry had recently died in 1845. The Parkinson's were well versed in running a public house business; they were licenced victuallers at the Red Lion on King Street before Henry's death.


Harriett Parkinson's ownership of the Plough would last for nearly half a century (48 years). She was also the licensee for  over 30 years until around 1883, when her son Henry John became the pub landlord. By 1897 he had also taken over the ownership of the premises.


Harriett died in 1918, most probably from complications associated with the Spanish 'Flu. A note in the Loughborough Echo of the 25th October 1918 said that 'she was 73 years of age and had resided at the house in which she died (the Plough Inn) for the past fifty years. She was well known and highly esteemed in the village'.  


Plough Inn : Queueing outside? c1905-10

​​Twentieth Century : Drama, Depression and Demise

The early part of the 20th century saw the Parkinson family continue with their occupation of the Plough. Henry John was licensee and landlord when PC William Adiel Wilkinson was shot at the parish church gates on the evening of 25th May 1903. The policeman staggered down High Street before collapsing and dying of his injuries in the roadway almost opposite the Plough. Dr W B Garvin, the local surgeon ordered that the body be brought into to the skittle alley at the Plough where it could be examined. A post mortem was carried out by Dr Garvin on the 27th May, and the next day an Inquest into the body of PC Wilkinson was held at the Plough by Mr H J Deane, the Loughborough District Coroner.


In February 1920 Henry John survived a court action after a serious accusation of overcharging was made by a visiting food inspector. The case was eventually dismissed but due to illness Henry John had not been there to witness his exoneration. This was one of the last times that Henry John is mentioned in the records; he was buried on the 14th October 1920, aged 75. Trustees administered Henry John's estate, and they decided to sell the Plough Inn at auction.

On the 8th December 1921 the Plough Inn was sold to James Henry Sneesby of Leicester for £4000. According to local newspapers over 250 people had crammed in to the inn's clubroom to watch proceedings. Although Sneesby had won the auction, it was reported that there was much interest from brewery companies, especially as the pub had its own 'modern' brewery. Therefore it is no surprise when Sneesby sold the premises on to All Saints Brewery of Leicester within a couple of years of his own acquisition.

All Saints Brewery were taken over by Ind Coope in 1929, along with its 81 pubs. From 1931 to its final demise, the Plough Inn's licence shows that Ind Coope & Allsop Ltd was the lessee, and its products were sold at the pub. In the space of a decade the Plough had become part of a brewing conglomerate, far from its original family business roots. This change was reflected in its business practices. From 1923 the pub was managed by external licensees. However, due to a downturn in business, mainly caused by the Depression, the licensees came and went with regularity. From 1923-1932 there were five listed landlords. The last of the five, James Devoy, had failed in 1932 and he blamed his misfortune on bad trade and unemployment 'in the district'. Things improved up to and after the Second World War under Clarke Carvill and John Woodford, but after Woodford's departure in 1955 the pattern of short term licensees started again. The final licensee was Benny Lay who was landlord around 1962. One of the final references to the inn is in an advertisement for a 'versatile' pianist to play weekends at the Plough, issued by Benny Lay in September 1962. After over two hundred years of continuous business, the Plough Inn finally closed its doors after its licence was refused by Leicestershire's Licencing Compensation Authority at its meeting held on the 24th June 1963. 


Plough Inn : Ind Coope Pub Sign (undated)


​​Much More Ado

Although the pub was primarily a hostelry, it had other important functions. As already mentioned, the pub had its own brewery that was much sought after by other brewery companies in the 1920s. The Plough was still a fully functioning inn in the late 1920s offering a place to sleep for those willing to pay.

In common with some of the other local pubs, public auctions were often conducted at the Inn. The clubroom was also the focus of many social activities in the village. The Junior Female Friendly Society met there until it was dissolved in 1913.

The Plough was particularly reknowned for its skittle alley, and in the 20th century its teams played in the Everard Cup and in the Syston and District (Long Alley) Skittles League. Later in the century, teams from the pub competed successfully in darts and table tennis. The table tennis club in particular produced many county players in the early 1950s.

Number 10, High Street is the former home of the Plough Inn. The building has been Grade II listed since 1984 and its listing description gives its use at that time as a mini-market. The frontage is in two parts; a late 17th century half timbered gable with brick infill to the left, and an 18th century brick structure to the right. At the rear is a Victorian extension and a separate two storey clubroom.

Early History : Barradell and Cobley

The history of the pub can be traced back to at least the 1750s. In the two hundred or so years that there are records for the Plough, only three families and a brewery owned the property. They were the Barradell/Cobley, Parkinson and Sneesby families, and the All Saints Brewery.


The earliest record shows William Barradell as the victualler in 1753. He was most likely one of the many children of Edward Barradell, the parish clerk. William married Anne Woodhouse in 1749, and by her had one surviving child, called John. Anne died and was buried in December 1758, leaving William to marry again. On the 12th February 1760 William married his second wife, Elizabeth Sarson. They had two children, Sarah and George. William died in 1784 and by his will devised his estate to his wife Elizabeth for her life and then to be divided between Sarah and George after her death. By contrast, John, his son by his first marriage was left £10 and a number of his clothes.

Even though Elizabeth had possession of the Plough Inn, her son George took over the licence there in 1790, no doubt assisted by his new wife Mary Condon, with whom he'd married that same year. George took overall ownership upon his mother's death in July 1797, but tragedy struck when his wife Mary died just over a year later, possibly due to complications after childbirth; she was buried at Sileby in August 1798. Like his father, George was married again within a year or so of his first wife's death. He took Rhoda Cartwright as his next bride in January 1800. They carried on the business until George's death in 1817, when Rhoda became the sole owner. She found a new partner, marrying Thomas Cobley in August 1819. He was described as a miller, and was around 15 years her junior. Thomas was the owner and licensee for the next 25 years, and died relatively young, aged 51 in 1844. In 1845 the licence was taken over by John Wilkinson and later by his wife Mary. Rhoda outlived her husband by just under two years. After her death in 1846 her estate was administered by trustees, and they decided to sell the pub in 1849, giving Mary Wilkinson notice to leave.

Description - 17th September 1914 

(Valuation Act : National Archives IR 58/51165/199)


Brick and Slated, Old, Good (condition)

a) Basement - 3 Beer Cellars 

b) Ground Floor – Parlour, Smoke (room) and     

     Bar, 3 pulls, Tap room, Kitchen and Scullery

c) 1st Floor – 4 Bedrooms, Back W.C., Store room

d) 2nd Floor – Attic hipped

Normal Business per week :

3 Barrels of Beer

15 dozen pints (bottled trade)

6 gallons of spirits per week

Gross value of property : £2200


Well 40 foot deep, good brewing water in yard

old Brick and Slated Engine shed

Brick and Slated Greenhouse, good.

Saddle room

Skittle Alley

Clubroom over store

Brick and Slated Brewhouse : 2 Quarter plant (1889), 2 floors, good.

2 Brick and Slated Privies, good

Brick and Slated 3 stall stables, good

3 Pig Sties, good

Lumber shed

old Pig sty, timber and corrugated iron.  

Owners, Licensees and Publicans



William Barradell

Elizabeth Barradell, widow

George Barradell

Rhoda Barradell, widow

Thomas Cobley

Rhoda Cobley, widow

Cobley's Trustees

Henry Parkinson

Harriett Parkinson

Henry John Parkinson

Parkinson's Trustees

James Henry Sneesby

All Saints Brewery

Ind Coope



<1753 - 1784

 1784 - 1790

 1790 - 1817

 1817 - 1819

 1819 - 1844

 1844 - 1846

 1846 - 1849

 1849 - 1849

 1849 - 1897

 1897 - 1920

 1920 - 1921

 1921 - 1923

 1923 - 1929

 1929 - 1963



William Barradell

Elizabeth Barradell, widow

George Barradell

Rhoda Barradell, widow

Thomas Cobley

Rhoda Cobley, widow

John Wilkinson

Mary Wilkinson, widow

George Barsby?

Henry Parkinson

Harriett Parkinson, widow

Henry John Parkinson

Charles Henry Parkinson

James Henry Sneesby

Walter Edward Croghan

John Rudkin

Ruth Rudkin, widow

Arthur Reginald Bowes

James Edward Devoy

Clarke Carvill

John Thomas Woodford

John Dennis Messer

Herbert H Williams

Jack Barradale

Cyril R E Wood

Benny Lay



<1753 - 1784

 1784 - 1790

 1790 - 1817

 1817 - 1819

 1819 - 1844

 1844 - 1845

 1845 - 1847

 1847 - 1849

 1849 - 1849

 1849 - 1849

 1849 - 1882

 1882 - 1921

 1921 - 1921

 1921 - 1923

 1923 - 1926

 1926 - 1929

 1929 - 1930

 1930 - 1931

 1931 - 1932

 1932 - 1939

 1939 - 1955

 1955 - 1957

 1957 - c1960

 c1960 - c1961

 c1961 - c1962  

 1962 - 1963

Notes on the listings

The dates are accurate to within a year of that given due to licencing records often starting part way through a year. Also, when electoral electoral rolls and trade directories are used the names quite often reflect the previous years occupiers. Due to privacy and  data protection a decision was made to have a listing cut off date of around 1960 or so.


Plough Inn - looking south

(undated c1910)


Plough Inn - looking north

(undated c1910)

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