The Clanfield Tavern
Quoted as being “Oxfordshire best kept secret”


History of The Clanfield Tavern


The village pub we now know as The Clanfield Tavern was built in 1610 the date being recorded on the original fire-back - a copy of which can be seen in The Tavern over the fireplace.
In the early 1700 it became a pub and was called The Masons Arms. In the early 70's Harry and Jean Norton owned both the Plough and The Masons Arms, and they extended the Mason's Arms to include a derelict cottage which they bought from Ruth Fowler.
At that time it was renamed the Plough Tavern, and it became The Clanfield Tavern when it later changed hands. Since 1610. besides being used as a public house, it has been used as a meeting place for clubs and societies and also for village and parish business. In 1827 the Court Leet was held at the Masons Arms, when all males over the age of 12 years were required to attend for the purpose of electing three jurors.
Properties were sold by Auction and Inquests were held there. Parish and Vestry business was conducted there until the Carter Institute was built., but the members still made there way to the Masons Arms for a little light refreshment after the meetings.
During the reign of Queen Victoria organised sport began and Clanfield had a cricket team which played in Mr Clinch's field (possibly the feeding ground field behind Chestlion Farm). Afterwards the team would meet in the Masons Arms for a meal.
As it was the only pub registered in the village just then it was a focal point for any celebrations that were to be held.
The Clanfield Band was formed in 1912 and played for the first time on Boxing Day at 6am - showing great enthusiasm! The Masons Arms was the place they would meet for practice, and to enjoy a drink after all that dry work, keeping the young Harry Clarke awake in his bedroom at the Post Office next door. 

Drink was said to be a problem in Clanfield, and the cost of being found drunk was high - 1/6d plus 3/6d costs or 7 days in prison. The charge of furiously driving a horse could cost even more. In 1876 Lance Collet was fined 10s plus 1s 6d at Burford after being found guilty of that charge, and Thomas Beckingsale, baker of Clansfield , was found guilty of the same charge and fined 14s with 26s for driving furiously at Brize Norton. 

In 1958 The Clanfield Friendly Society was formed at the Masons Arms. People felt they needed more security, especially at times of illness. This provided an opportunity for an annual celebration with a church service.
 

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 Mellwood Country Pubs,Bampton Road,Clanfield,OX18 2RG,Tel: 01367 248406