Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...
Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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...
Beth has been working in hospitality since she was 16 in restaurants and hotels before joining the Brunning and Price family. Beth and partner Jack are closely followed by their beloved pub dogs; Chip and Arty (who are usually running around looking for friends or treats!). If you cannot find Beth behind the bar she will be propping up the other side of it with her family and friends - always with a smile and a G&T! (p.s the way to Beth' heart is gin!) Beth is an odd one for sure - all of her organs are on the other side of her body - it's true we promise. Ask her if you don't believe us...
Gemma joined us a little over a year ago as a Front of House member of staff after she had worked in the city for many years, she found she loved us all so much that she recently stepped up to be the new Deputy Manager. She has worked in hospitality for a number of years. When she isn't running around the pub, she will be found out walking her doggy Luna with her partner Jon or drinking a bottle (or 2) of Rose!
Trainee Assistant Manager
Holly has been here for 3 years and became a Supervisor in the Summer of 2018. You'll often find Holly behind the bar recommending Gins and their various accompaniments. When Holly inst recommending Gins, shes out drinking them - she is defiantly the party animal of the Pub!
Trainee Assistant Manager
Justin is our seasonal Supervisor who helps out here during Uni holidays - because he hasn't got enough work to do! Justin is one of the most organised members of staff and takes great pride in keeping the glass washer in full working order. He is our resident glass smasher, so if you hear a glass breaking you'll be sure to find him there with a dustpan and brush in hand!
Our lovely Finnian, what can we say?! He is the smily/overly positive one. Always up for good chinwag and even better if he has a pint of Guinness. Finn enjoys coming to work because he actually gets to see his brother, Elijah, they do live together but only see each other at work! There is a friendly competition between them which makes us laugh - we are sure it will make you giggle too!
James is the biggest character in the building (even though he wouldn't admit it!) but one of the hardest working. He has recently joined the Fire service but couldn't bare to leave us completely so will still be helping out a couple of days a week. James has worked for the company for quite a few years and has been with us for 3 years so knows his way around the bar!
First of all, we are sorry Miles - this was the only picture we could find!! When Miles first joined we thought he was shy and quiet. Well, how wrong we were! Miles cracks us up every day and is someone we certainly rely on to make us smile. Very clever just don't ask him what a Stote is...it might surprise you...
Ollie lives in jumping distance to the pub so it practically is his second home. Chief runner and chief believer of very bad jokes - thats why we love him! We are slowly making him try all new foodie things on our menu - last week it was scallops and surprisingly he loved them. His parents are interested in this challenge too!
Em is studying law at Bristol university and comes back to work at The Pheasant in the holidays. Come the weekend she loves to go out into town and sample the other local pubs .. and their products! A gem with the customers, when the girls are all on shift together, they are a force to recon with!
You won't be able to miss Ellen here at The Pheasant with her blonde/silvery hair - she reminds us of Jennifer Lawrence.. Her lovely way with the customers is apparent while she's working, and you'll find her with a cheeky glass of rose at the end of her shift -sweet rose of course! We'll be losing her in the next couple of months to go travelling but luckily she'll miss us enough to return in the summer after all her adventures.
Tony is more popularly known as T-dog by our chefs and helps us through our busy Saturday night shifts! When he's not here at The Pheasant, he works for another catering company. Clearly enjoying working with people he always has a smile on his face and has a quiff as golden as the sun!
Always smartly dressed (whether he's working or having a couple of drinks in town) Ollie puts the rest of us to shame as being the poshest staff member we have! When he's not gracing us with this big vocabulary, he's performing with his guitar at various venues in the area. We might ask for his autograph now before he gets famous..
Our head chef James - or as many call him 'Jimma' as we have so many James' working here now. The way to his heart is either Macallan gold or Sancerre. Both of which Hannah and Beth bought him for Christmas! James comes to us from various big kitchens before us so is used to busy pubs and loved good hearty food. If he isn't at the pub he is playing poker, having a few beers or spending time with his daugher.
Chef de Partie
Alex is our breakfast maestro having joined us from the Jolly Farmers! She is our ray of sunshine in the early mornings - especially as she makes a mean full english! When Alex isn't cooking up a storm in our kitchen she is at home with her son and husband hopefully putting her feet up!
Myles is probably one of the quiet guys of the pub but one of the nicest. He works harder than ever and loves working longer than he should because he is a bit of a perfectionist. Normally you can find him running around the pub and looking after the chefs, running food but has dreams of training on the bar. Imagine how tidy it will be?!
Brenden joins us through fellow chef Myles. They are the best of buds at home so thought - why not work together?! Brenden isn't usually dressed like a minion this is just our favourite picture of him...head chef James also calls him 'his minion' so seemed fitting! The most relaxed, lovely guy who can never do enough to help.
Emily is our ray of sunshine in the mornings and certainly an early bird! Em is in the pub from the crack of dawn clearing up after us every day (we don't know how she puts up with us!?) Em looks after the girls: Tania and Becky who help her clean too but she is truly the OCD one of the lot. We are lucky to have her. Em is the first one to attend the staff do's with a disaronno and a pint of becks. Usually found dancing round the pub at 6am to the radio...
Gary is the employee of the year! Gary joined us not too long ago to sort our gardens out, oh boy, has he done wonders. Gary was going to retire but then decided he loved gardening too much so came along to join us to work away. You will either find him singing away, tasting the leaves or taking before and after pictures - all whilst working the hardest you have ever seen. Gary has a big family which is still growing, a love of tattoos and perfectly enough - gin!
Use the calendar to book a table. If the time you're after is not available, give us a call and we will try our best to fit you in. We keep some tables for phone bookings.
We don't reserve any of our outside tables so if you enjoy a little alfresco dining these are first come first serve.
Friday 29th November to Tuesday 24th December