The Dog and Duck pub, Plucks Gutter
Plucks Gutter shown within Kent
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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|EU Parliament||South East England|
Plucks Gutter is a small hamlet in Kent, England where the Little Stour and Great Stour rivers meet. During the Middle Ages, the two rivers met the Wantsum Channel at Stourmouth, but the combined rivers now (called the River Stour downstream from Plucks Gutter) flow onward to the sea via Sandwich to Pegwell Bay near Ramsgate, leaving Plucks Gutter some six miles in a straight line and ten by river from the English Channel.
The hamlet is named after a Dutch Drainage Engineer called Ploeg, whose grave can be seen in All Saints Church, West Stourmouth. Ploeg being the Dutch for a plough, the hamlet almost certainly takes its origins from the Dutch Protestant tradition of draining marshland by creating a ploughed ditch. No doubt, the Dutchman was named after his craft.
Just a mile upstream from the Dog and Duck Inn, Plucks Gutter is 'Blood Point', the scene of King Alfred's famous defeat of a Viking invasion force and often taken to be the Royal Navy's first successful engagement of an enemy. In 1821-23, a notorious North Kent Gang of smugglers made use of Pluck's Gutter. One account from a Revenue Customs Officer recalls how they travelled some fourteen miles, on foot, through Trenleypark Wood to Stodmarsh, Then via Grove Corner to Pluck's Gutter where they crossed the river by the ferry and onward northeast to Mount Pleasant near Acol then up to Marsh Bay – the former name for what is modern-day Westgate-on-Sea
There is a riverside inn here with a holiday caravan and lodge park.
The old ferry cottage (the earlier pub) is the eponymous 'House at Plucks Gutter' and was the inspiration for the book of the same name by Manning Coles. The freeholder of the cottage has an obligation to provide services to any officer of one of 'His Majesty's Ships of War' lying in the Wantsum Channel as payment to the Crown for the rights to operate the ferry. Fishing on the River is controlled by the Wantsum Angling Association and Plucks Gutter is a location for many fishing competitions. Pike, bream and roach are most commonly caught here. ducks, swans and kingfishers are commonly seen, as are representatives from a couple of local rowing clubs (including the University of Kent and Kent College Canterbury); most often undergoing medium- to long- distance inland water "steady state" training.
River trips from Sandwich run on request.
The hamlet is served by local buses each weekday (other than Bank Holidays) from Canterbury to Westwood Cross Shopping Centre via Wingham and Minster Station. The nearest railway stations are at Minster with services to Ramsgate, Ashford, London Charing Cross and London St. Pancras. Alternatively, Birchington Station (4 miles walk) for Chatham and London Victoria. Local taxis can be booked to/from both stations.
Non-residential riverside moorings can be obtained from the Dog and Duck Inn or from the ferry cottage.