Today we visited somewhere we have driven past on countless occasions over the years, a classic example of tourist’s doorstep law (you don’t bother looking at things under your nose). After a morning examining two ancient hillfort sites, one at Cholesbury Camp and one at nearby Pulpit Hill, we wandered into the Plough at Cadsden, a tiny hamlet near Princes Risborough.
The Plough has been around in one form or another for over 400 years, starting life as a coaching inn and, so the legend has it, hosting a wake for John Hampden as supporters brought his body back from Thame, where he died after the Battle of Chalgrove. More recently, several Prime Ministers have popped in for a drink; the ying and yang of British politics from the mid-60s to the mid-70s, Ted Heath and Harold Wilson, and more recently David Cameron.
In 2015 Mr Cameron took Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, to the Plough for a pint and a fish and chip meal, as part of continuing negotiations over trade and diplomatic relations. The following year, reports stated that the owner had sold the Plough to Chinese investors. Less impressively, Mr and Mrs Cameron contrived to leave their daughter Nancy unattended at the pub for about 15 minutes, during the summer of 2012. Makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it?
If the evidence of our visit today is anything to go by, this unfortunate incident hasn’t deterred other families from bringing their young children to the Plough for Sunday lunch. As we left, a van with a group of young Chinese businessmen rolled up. Even muddy-shoed walkers aren’t a problem, with overshoes available in the porch. And the lunch – shoulder of lamb and steak and ale pie, in our cases – was a splendid reward for yomping up Pulpit Hill.