The Harp Opened Last Night

The Harp
The Plough re-opened last night – renamed as The Harp.

Looking back at the 1869 Abingdon Who’s who in Abingdon Library I see that it was called The Plough as far back as 1869 (run by S Shewry) – and was near the Railway Hotel (run by C Wyatt).

Other pubs to be found along Stert Street at that time included…

Lamb and Flag (W Dyer)
The Bear (William West)
George & Dragon (Tomothy West)
Butchers’ Arms (Frederick Wiblin)
Two Brewers (W Atkins)
Roebuck Inn (Mrs Valentine)
Bee hive

There was also John Trip, a beer retailer.

20 thoughts on “The Harp Opened Last Night

  1. Cassandra

    As a newcomer to Abingdon, I am facinated by the amount of pubs this small town appeared to have had. I am wondering why it has been renamed ‘The Harp’ since this does not seem to have been a return to a previous name?

  2. Native

    It wasnt too long ago that another pub name change caused a bit of a stir. That was the Nags Head when it was briefly called (now I think I remember correctly?) The Mill House. I wonder what the locals will make of this one?…

  3. Kev

    You can change the name of a dump but it’s still a dump. Casandra, I highly recommend the book “inns and alehouses of Abingdon 1550 – 1978”. Not sure if it’s still in print but the library may have a copy.

  4. Cassandra

    Thankyou Kev. I have been facinated by the number of buildings around Abingdon which still have a Moreland’s plaque on them. I wil investigate the book.

  5. Mark

    Have you visited?

    clean, freindly and well kept beer, try supporting local business instead of running them down. i am the new landlord and will gladly let you all know the reasons for the name change if you care to visit,

    and if we have local support we can stop it becoming a Tesco

  6. Native

    Good luck to you Mark I hope you can make a go of it there. I’d be interested in the reason for the name change also but who cares what the place is called as long as its still open and serving good ale!
    Weve lost far to many pubs in Abingdon and those that havent completely gone are now so called pubs that seem to be more about the dinning experience than the social drinking side of things. Obviously I realise it seems the only way to keep afloat in the pub trade these days but isnt it a shame that those little cosy back bars and snugs hardly exist anymore…..

  7. Kat P

    For a long period of time ‘Public Houses’ were exactly that – houses that local people could have a drink in – and often they were just one or two rooms of a house at that.

    People could make a living (or supplement a living) out of running them on that scale.

    That was before the days of TV’s, home cinemas, X-boxes etc. and before the bizarre idea that dad might spend the evening at home with mum and the kids!

    All that has changed, some for good reason, but the result is that any town nowadadys has a smaller number of larger pubs, and that they tend to be either ‘vertical drinking’ establishments that are full on Friday and Saturday nights, or aimed at the real ale and foodie market. As someone who quite likes the real ale and food end, and who never liked breathing in other people’s smoke, I’m quite happy with this.

    It has given us some excellent places to eat and drink in Abingdon like the Kings Head & Bell, the Broad Face, the Old Anchor Inn and the Brewery Tap.

  8. George

    The Harp has a place in the town,
    I don’t think it is ever going to be the nicest pub in town, but it will be good for drinkers and builders and the people queuing outside the job centre over the road in the morning.
    The pub will do well as long as they can keep it stocked and don’t try and make it something its not.

  9. Angela

    Yes its clean and friendly and it serves the local y brew – tasty. My only(minor) criticism woiuld be thatthe lighting is very bright, more subtle lighting would improve the ambience

  10. doozer

    Mark – are you under the “”Green King Kybosh”? Or are you able to sell anything from Loose Canon? I hope you are able to and if so this independance should stand you in good stead. Freedom to do what you want (and hopefully something good/better than others). Good luck to you – i’ll be in to give it a go soon(if indeed you are not enslaved to GK).

  11. Stan Kazach

    If i could give one bit of advice it would be to remove the graffiti written in chalk from the external entrance wall. Its been there for over a year and gives the impression that nothing much has changed. That said I wish them the best of luck.

  12. Ste

    Later opening hours on a Friday or Saturday?

    Maybe a fresh lick of paint to the exterior and some advertising like the Kings Head and Bell did when they reopened. Most thriving pubs tend to use Facebook and Twitter to advertise promotions these days.

  13. Tim

    Good luck Mark, I hope the pub does well. Its always pleasing to hear about a pub re-opening and not becoming another blinking Tesco!! I hope you can have local ales and not just Greene King wee!!

  14. Julian

    The Harp advertises itself as showing the 6 Nations. Yes, there is a big screen and Yes, the beer is cheap during the games. But do NOT be tempted. The pub is full of “regulars” playing the jukebox at high volume which drowns out the TV. Damned annoying. Had to leave at half time for another pub. Why advertise the 6Nations at all if you’re going to pander to the “regulars”? Plus, the music was dreadful.

  15. Richard Gottfried

    We popped into The Harp to watch the Grand National yesterday. A nice welcome and a good spot to have a drink. They had a big screen showing the race and a smaller TV there too. If we’d have had more time we would’ve played a game of darts too.

    I remember the pub as The Plough and it wasn’t until we were inside and my brother mentioned it had been reopened since my last visit that I realised the name change!

  16. SImon

    A pub is not made by the room or building that you are in. Its made by the people who run it and the people who drink in it.

    Mark is a top bloke (allowing for the Scottishness of course 😉 )

    I can imagine nothing other than a nice vibe and will be visiting soon to find out.


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