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A History: The Plume of Feathers, Mitchell

Step through the doors of The Plume of Feathers in the quaint village of Mitchell, and you’ll instantly feel years of history seeping from the walls.

A 16th Century coaching inn, The Plume is a mainstay of the village community; a steadfast ship amid a changing world over hundreds of years. Today, it continues to pay homage to the past with its wooden beams, cosy nooks and welcoming bar, while exuding sustainable country charm and luxury from the comfort of its refurbished hotel rooms.

When you visit, soak up the old-world atmosphere as you take a pew, and find out a little more about our colourful history…

A Dive Into a Political Past

The village of Mitchell may not be one of Cornwall’s most well-known destinations – but, regardless, it boasts of a full history featuring some prominent English figures over the past five centuries.

Among them, and perhaps one of the most famous within the pub’s dedicated history, is the story of Sir Walter Rayleigh. It’s said that Sir Rayleigh, an English adventurer, writer and nobleman (1552 – 1618), was once chased out of the village by The Plume’s very own landlady; which isn’t at all impossible considering the MP, who represented the borough of Mitchell in 1593, once owned a house in Mitchell (which you can still see in the village today!).

At this time, the area was also dubbed a ‘Rotten Borough‘ – which meant that, despite having few voters, the residents could elect an MP, making them susceptible to control in a variety of ways, as candidates were able to ‘buy’ the borough. 

And Sir Raleigh wasn’t alone in this tactic; another notable figure, Sir Arthur Wellesley (1769 – 1852), the first Duke of Wellington, would also become MP almost 200 years later (1807) in this way. Again, visitors and locals alike can still see his house in the village, which can be identified by a plaque.

Politicians weren’t the only guests to Mitchell, though. Two other famous names would come to the village during the 18th Century. Methodists John and Charles Wesley are widely credited with founding the Methodist Movement and bringing it to Cornwall, and their journey to the county to preach the Gospel famously included a stop here. In fact, it’s said John Wesley preached out of the front bay window to the crowds below! 

A Village Mainstay

No doubt, the pub has seen its fair share of drama and excitement in the village over the years, whether it was the arrival of John Wesley and his brother in the 1700s, or the landlord almost losing the license for permitting drunkenness on his premises in 1925; every stone has a story to tell.

Much later, pub veterans once enjoyed an indoor and outdoor bowling alley behind the pub, while the village well, which eventually fell out of use, has been preserved within an extension of the building (and can still be seen and enjoyed by guests today). One particularly memorable moment includes the time a lorry ploughed into the pillars of the pub (back when the original A30 ran through the village) and took out the front!

A Hopeful Future

More recently, the pub’s future had seemed somewhat less promising – its reign of revelry coming to an end with the re-direction of the A30. Boarded up and left to go derelict, it was 2000 when its current owners, Peter and Jacqui Fair, came to the rescue and lovingly restored the building to the iconic inn it once was.

With a vision to build a more sustainable future, the main outbuilding became the pub’s first seven rooms, and, thanks to a burgeoning reputation for good food and drink, a conservatory was soon added to provide extra dining space for guests. Since then, another 13 rooms have been added, turning this historic venue into a popular stop for guests looking for rural charm in the heart of Cornwall, with a modern chic twist. 

Today, each room offers the chance for guests to relax from the hustle and bustle of everyday life amid stylish country-inspired luxury, while the pub menu makes the most of seasonal ingredients, showcasing the best of what Cornwall has to offer.

Find out more and plan your visit to The Plume this winter with our seasonal breaks and offers, or book your table for that special family occasion. We can’t wait to see you soon!