The hotel It is believed to have been built in 1660 for a local, yeoman farmer or minor country noble.
The building is of similar style to a number of properties in the locality, ie Radcot House, Kelmscot Manor and a number of properties in Langford and Kencot. But as its scale is not as great as these it indicates greater age or a lower status.
Although built as a farm or dower house, due to its proximity to Radcot Bridge (either the oldest or second oldest crossing of the River Thames), The Plough became an inn providing accommodation for travellers and stabling for their horses. At one time there were stables on the right-hand side of the building but they were demolished with the widening of the road in the late 19th century.
Although Clanfield is promoted as the edge of the Cotswolds, most of the surrounding land is high quality arable land formed by the alluvial deposits of the River Thames. Thus a large percentage of the population were involved in agriculture and this resulted in the Plough becoming one of a number of tenanted public houses in the village.
Garnes Brewery Company of Burford, owned the Plough throughout the late 19th and early 20th Century. Garnes Brewery Company was bought by Wadworth’s Brewery of Devizes, Wiltshire in the 1950s and thus ownership of the Plough passed to Wadworth’s.
The Norton’s sold the business in 1979 and the Plough and the Tavern were split into two separate businesses. There were two private owners throughout the early 1980s and the Plough was acquired by the Hatton Hotels Group in late 1984. They closed the hotel for a few months while an extensive refurbishment programme was carried out. It then reopened as an upmarket country house hotel and fine dining restaurant. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 1988 and 1989.