The Pheasant at Buckland

Buckland

About Us

Here is just a little info to let you get to know us better...

History

Here is a little potted history of our pub and the local area... if you have a spare minute or two and maybe a cup of tea (or is that a G&T), we think it's well worth a read.

Like many English pubs, the Pheasant in Buckland has seen several name changes over the many hundreds of years it's been looking after locals and travellers. The Pheasant was first named 'The Tap' in the late 18th century, then became The Jolly Farmers, and is now re-born as the Pheasant, in reference to a previous landowner, the Earl of Arundel, who in the 16th century complained about the general poaching of pheasants on his estate, which was greatly displeasing to him, but no doubt helped nourish the local community.

The earliest record of the deep past of the Pheasant comes from the date 1766, stamped into several of the bricks of the adjacent cottage. This building, now called Jolly Farmers Cottage, was in fact the site of the original tavern, The Tap, which is clearly marked in a map of 1801.

You can see the pub on the map in near the centre at the bottom of this map detail

The Tap was situated opposite Tap Woods, but whether the wood was named after the pub, or the pub named after the woods, is a moot point, though we can find no reference to 'Tap Woods' prior to the arrival of the pub.

The Tap in 1880, looking pretty Grimsky-Korsakov. Not very jolly.

At that time, anyone could sell beer or cider from their home, generally in their front parlour. The beer was usually served in jugs or dispensed directly from tapped wooden barrels on a table in the corner of the room.

Often profits were so high the owners were able to buy the house next door to live in, turning every room in their former home into bars and lounges for customers - and this would perhaps account for the re-location of premises to the purpose-built property next door.

This photograph shows the original Tap tavern to the left, with the new premises next door

The front of The Tap was actually at right angles to the road, and Duncan Ferris, author of the excellent 'Buckland 1000 - 2000', tells us that at some time in the evolution of The Tap, a small 'summer house' at road level was added to the gable of the house at the same level as the inside cellars, most likely by way of attracting customers, much as we might today add a conservatory.

You can read a pdf of Duncan Ferris' publication here.

In a tithe survey of 1846, the pub is called "The Tap House", and was owned by Neale Thomas, with Mary Truelove as landlord. We believe the pub was re-named The Jolly Farmers in the early 20th century. Throughout its history, census records show that the pub was generally a family business, often handed down through succeeding generations.

A photograph showing that the original Tap had been re-named The Jolly Farmers, before it moved next door...

In our fossicking through the historical laundry of the pub, we've came across a photograph of the Jolly Farmers from the early 20th century, where we couid just make out on the pub sign that it was owned by the Mellersh and Neale Brewery of Reigate.

Mellersh and Neale was a substantial and pretty expansionist operation with an estate that stretched right across the region, buying up and absorbing many existing smaller breweries, while along the way they brewed a bottled beer which they exported to the West Indies. Mellersh and Neale developed a large mineral water business way back in the 1930's, before it became cool, which turned over a substantial amount of money and was hived off as a separate business in its own right.


The brewery stored and matured their cask ales in caves below Reigate, which apparently gave the brewery a competitive edge as the ales were delivered in perfect condition.

A list of freeholds owned by the Mellersh and Neale Brewery indicate that The Tap was bought by the Mellersh and Neale Brewery on 5th September 1899, when the brewery acquired a tranche of pubs from Sisson Watts Neale shortly after the business became a Limited Company.

By the 1930's, the pub had moved into its current premises as The Jolly Farmers. Mrs Welfare, a local resident, recalls regular motor cycle and sidecar races in Tap Woods in the 1930s.

Mellersh and Neale were bought by Meux in 1938, and the family identity of the brewery and its pubs gradually dissipated. As you reap, so shall you sow. For a comprehensive history of Mellersh and Neale, please visit a highly researched and comprehensive website written by archaeologist Richard Symonds, to whom we are most indebted:

thebreweriesandpublichousesofsurrey.blogspot.co.uk

Local legend

Buckland is also the location of the Shag Brook, running near to the pub, which local legend says was the home of a monstrous horse (in some versions a gorilla), called the Buckland Shag. This beast would drag travellers from the nearby coaching road and devour them on the Shag Stone, a large boulder in the brook with a blood red vein of iron ore running through it.

The local parson, Willoughby Bertie, had the Shag Stone removed from the brook in 1757 and thrown from a cliff in Devon. The Buckland Shag then disappeared from local folklore.

The legend of the Buckland Shag has recently been revived by a local morris side, The Buckland Shag Morris Men.

The Morris men's website tells us that at dawn on Mayday 1987, something appeared from the region of Buckland pond. Sightings were reported around Surrey every Friday evening through the summer, but only at selected licensed premises serving quality ales...

For the past two decades this pattern of sightings has continued, and we're keeping our eyes peeled...

bucklandshagmorrismen.com

If you'd like to put a name to a face, allow us to introduce you to the crew...


Front of house

Sean

Manager

Sean has been here at the helm of the Pheasant for just over a year now and does an amazing job of keeping us all in check!
As well as being host with the most out front Sean is also a very talented chef with years of experience in the industry, you’ll often find him cooking away in our kitchen.
When he’s having a well earned day off he’ll most likely still be in an apron baking some delicious cakes and sweet treats for us all to try. Or off to visit friends back in London to enjoy delicious restaurants and a few glasses of Côtes du Provence!

Sean is also a massive Harry Potter fan, so next time you’re in be sure to say hello, especially if you’re a fellow Gryfindor!

Lizzie

Deputy Manager

Meet Lizzie, she worked her way to Deputy Manager during her 10 years at one of our sister pubs, until she joined us back in December 2021.
Lizzie is a dab hand at home improvements and spends lots of time making her cottage and the pub look beautiful! She's even painted her own front door bright pink! She enjoys spending time with her friends going on country walks or playing board games down the pub over a couple of beers.
Say hello to Lizzie next time you pop in, where you’ll always see her with a big smile and a funky blouse.

Tony

Assistant Manager

Everyone meet Tony he’s been with us here for six years and is a key part of our team, he has recently been promoted to Assistant Manager and is absolutely nailing his new role!
He’s always busy welcoming you all in with a big smile or running around the pub working through his never ending list of jobs - he’s a really hard worker and definitely keeps himself busy, We’d be lost without him!
When he’s not being a busy bee at work he loves going out with his friends, enjoying delicious food and a nice G&T, he's also partial to the odd cinema trip.
Say hello to Tony next time your visiting!

Ruth

Assistant Manager

Ruth has been with us here at the Pheasant for nearly 2 years and lucky for us she’s here to stay!
She's always busy around the pub making sure everyones happy, she's also our resident florist and always makes sure our flowers are fresh and blooming.
Never without a smile on her face and always whizzing around the restaurant, she’s an absolute super star.
When off duty you may find Ruth on the other side of the bar sipping a nice cold Guinness, or enjoying a county side walk with her beautiful dogs!

Say hello to her next time you pop by.

Aimee

Supervisor

Meet Aimee, our wonderful supervisor. Aimee has worked here at the Pheasant since 2019 and is such a ray of sunshine in our crew. We are very lucky to have her, always serving with a smile, or busy tidying up after all of us as she is the neat and organised one. We love seeing Aimee flourish into her newly appointed supervisor role and can't wait to see where she goes from here.

Lisa

Bar/Waiting

Our lovely Lisa joins us from the Jolly Farmers so knows exactly what needs to be done. Believe it or not - Lisa is a mum to five kids! We like to think she comes to us for a bit of peace and quiet - however quiet we are?! Always smiling and is a pleasure to work with.

Louise

Bar/Waiting

Our wonderful Louise has been with us at the Pheasant since 2018. However she actually predates us and is practically part of the furniture, serving with her infectious smile since the old Jolly Farmer days! Lou is a very special part of our team, always making everyone laugh! You'll probably hear her before you see her, chatting away with our wonderful customers and really just making peoples days a little bit happier! Pop in for a natter and see for yourself, she'll have a large Coolhurst Provence wine if your buying! We love you Lou!

Emma

Bar/Waiting

Emma is our very own little pocket rocket! If Emma isn't at work you'll find her chasing around after her little boy, Hugo. If she isn't serving food, she'll be cooking it at home and enjoying it with a glass (or two) of champagne.

Led

Bar/Waiting

Everyone meet Ledion also know as LED, we like to think of him as our very own Disney prince.
Led has been with us since April '23 and loves being a part of the Pheasant team.
Master of all, Led can do anything and everything from running food to your table or pouring your pints behind the bar. Led loves our moving mountains burger alongside a nice cold pint of Cornish orchards cider
Outside of work you will often find him shooting hoops at the basketball court with his friends.
Be sure to say hello to our lovely Led when you’re next in!

Hayley

Bar/Waiting

Everyone meet our beautiful Hayley! What an asset to our team, so hard working rushing around the pub, serving you with that winning smile!
When Hayley’s not here stoking our fires you’ll most likely find her out walking her Rhodesian Ridgebacks or kicking back with a nice glass of red.
Say hi next time you’re in, we love our Hayley!

Lily

Bar/Waiting

Everyone meet Lily!
Lily is a lovely ray of sunshine, nothing is ever too much trouble and we love having her as part of the team. We are only lucky enough to have Lily with us for part of the year. When she’s not here with us, whizzing around the pub you’ll most likely find her studying hard for her masters in philosophy. Her favourite dish on our menu is our classic crispy beef salad, paired nicely with a delicious Coolhurst cotes de Provence.

Say Hi if you see her, she loves a chat - especially if you've brought your furry, four legged friend.

Ned

Bar/Waiting

Meet our lovely Ned! One of the nicest people you'll ever meet, we are very lucky to have him. Ned joined us back in Summer '23 and you'll usually find him busy behind the bar. When Ned isn't working you'll most likely find him working out in the gym. He's a big roast dinner fan and usually opts for our half roast chicken on Sundays. Washed down nicely with a pint of Guinness after a long shift on the bar. Say hi next time he serves you!

Lilly

Bar/Waiting

Everyone meet the lovely Lilly! She has only been with us since September '23 but she makes a fabulous addition to our team. Having lived in various countries all over the world, she's got some fantastic stories to share. We are very lucky to have her here with us now though.
When Lilly isn’t busy running food to hungry diners, you’ll most likely find her with a volley ball in hand.
After a busy shift, Lilly loves to wind down with a cold, crisp glass of our house white wine. Cheers!


Kitchen

Lucas

Head Chef

Meet Lucas, our wonderful Head Chef!

Lucas joined us from a background of working in Michelin restaurants, he has a real passion for food and this is evident through his delicious dishes. We are always excited to see what he's cooking up next.

Born and raised in Brazil, Lucas did half his Chef training there and completed it in London. His favourite dishes to cook are anything involving fresh seafood, his favourite to eat is fish! All enjoyed nicely with a zesty mojito.

When Lucas isn't working away in the kitchen, you'll most likely find him letting off steam at the gym or out for a ride on his motorbike.

Brenden

Chef de Partie

Meet our lovely Brenden! He's been part of our kitchen crew for many, many years and is a real asset to the team, he works very hard and has a real passion for food. Naturally when he's not in the kitchen, you may find him sampling various different cuisines in fancy restaurants with his beautiful fiancé! Thanks for all your hard work Bren, we love you!

Dean

Chef de Partie

Meet Dean! Originally from sunny South Africa, Dean has been with us just over a year now. He has a real passion for cooking and works incredibly hard in the kitchen team. When Dean isn't in our kitchen you'll most likely find him with friends cooking up a Braai in the garden (come rain or shine) nothing stops the braai! Thank you for all your hard work Dean.


Maintenance

Gary

Gardener/Maintenance Person

Gary has been with us for 6 years he works incredibly hard every day! He’s always on hand to fix, mend, build or petty much nail any task we throw at him! Of course all whilst maintaining a beautiful well kept garden!
When he’s not working he’s helping out his friends and family with yet more,’DIY’ projects!
You will always see Gary with a big smile on his face, having a little sing song or taking before and after pictures.
On the rare occasion he’s not working, he may enjoy a nice pint of Harvey’s at the bar!
Genuinely the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, we would be lost without him!

Give him a wave next time you see him pottering around the garden!