The History of
Sally Pussey, a colloquial rendition of the infamous landlady Sarah Purse, was married to Thomas. Parents to six daughters and one son, they ran the establishment from 1841 until 1885.
Living at Wickfield Cottage, Midgehall Tithing, Lydiard Tregoze, Thomas and Sarah are listed on the Census as labourers or agricultural labourers in their early years. This is updated in 1861 when Thomas is shown as a beer-house keeper.
The name of the Wheatsheaf appears only in the Census of 1881, when Sarah, by then widowed, is listed as a beer-house keeper, helped by her granddaughter Emily Knipe who had been living with the family for the previous ten years. The Wheatsheaf formed part of the Bolingbroke estate which also included Lydiard House.
During her time as a licensee of The Wheatsheaf, Sarah became somewhat of a living legend, believed to possess extraordinary powers of a faith healer of both man and beast! She is said to have been no taller than 5ft 1” but had a reputation amongst her regulars that far exceeded her height!
Like many legendary figures, Sarah had a name of her own. By various rolls of the Wiltshire's tongue she first became known as Sarah Puss, then Sah Puss which translated into Sally Pussey – or Aunt Sally’s as she became better known.
By 1885, James Saunders is listed as Lydiard Tregoze's beer retailer. The Ordnance Survey lists the house as 'Wheat Sheaf (B.H.)'. From 1935, Frank Harry Padgett took over the role but was only registered as the Innkeeper of the Wheatsheaf in 1939.
The Wheatsheaf was taken over by Arkell's Brewery in 1906 and the building extended in 1974, when it was decided to revive the legend of Aunt Sally and rename it to The Sally Pussey’s Inn.
The Relish Group engaged in the lease during 2016 and has been proud to develop both the food and drink menus to accommodate family dining, weekly carvery's, stone-baked pizzas, signature burgers and amazing desserts.