Llandoger Trow

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Llandoger Trow
Llandoger Trow front.jpg
The Llandoger Trow
Llandoger Trow is located in Bristol
Llandoger Trow
Location within Bristol
General information
Town or cityBristol
Coordinates51°27′07″N 2°35′36″W / 51.4519°N 2.5932°W / 51.4519; -2.5932Coordinates: 51°27′07″N 2°35′36″W / 51.4519°N 2.5932°W / 51.4519; -2.5932

The Llandoger Trow is a historic public house in Bristol, south-west England. Dating from 1664, it is on King Street, between Welsh Back and Queen Charlotte Street, near the old city centre docks. Named by a sailor who owned the pub after Llandogo in Wales which built trows (flat-bottomed river boats), the building was damaged in World War II, but remained in sufficiently good condition to be designated Grade II* listed building status in 1959. The pub is said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write of the Admiral Benbow Inn in Treasure Island and Daniel Defoe supposedly met Alexander Selkirk there, his inspiration for Robinson Crusoe. The pub is also supposedly haunted, with up to 15 ghosts, the best known being a small child whose footsteps can be heard on the top floor.

On 20 April 2019 the pub was closed, but has now re-opened as part of the Bloomsbury Leisure group.[1]


The Llandoger Trow in the early 1930s before part was bombed in World War II

The building dates from 1664, originally a row of three houses. It was built on a timber box frame, with brick stacks. The pub has an 18th-century shop front, but the main door dates from the 20th century. The pub was partially destroyed by a bomb in World War II, but three of the original five projecting gables remain. It was designated a Grade II* listed building on 8 January 1959.[2]

Tradition has it that Daniel Defoe met Alexander Selkirk, his inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, here,[3] and it was Robert Louis Stevenson’s inspiration for the Admiral Benbow in Treasure Island. In the Victorian era the pub was associated with the Theatre Royal, which is across the road, and was visited by many performers and musicians including Henry Irving.[4]


A trow was a flat-bottomed barge, and Llandogo is a village 20 miles (32 km) north-west of Bristol, across the Severn Estuary and upstream on the River Wye in South Wales, where trows were once built. Trows historically sailed to trade in Bristol from Llandogo. The pub was named by Captain Hawkins, a sailor who lived in Llandogo and ran the pub.[5]

Modern usage[edit]

In 1962 it became a Berni Inn, but now belongs to Whitbread and traded as a Brewers Fayre.[5] In 2007, The Llandoger Trow was one of the three locations seen in the "Pirate's Cove" episode of Most Haunted Live! The others were Blackbeard's houses and Redcliffe Caves. The most popular ghost story associated with the pub is that of a small child who wore leg braces and haunts the top floor, their footsteps heard at night. The programme claimed that there were at least 15 ghosts at the Llandoger Trow, and since 2009 the owners have organised ghost hunts overnight.[6]

In 2019 Whitbread decided to close the Llandoger Trow as it did not fit Whitbread's style of pubs, and it needed repairs at an estimated cost exceeding £2 million. It closed on 20 April 2019. Whitbread intend to lease out the building as a going concern.[7][8]


  1. ^ @eustontap (18 June 2021). "Big shout out for our new sister pub..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "Llandoger Trow". historicengland.org.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
  3. ^ Bristol Tourist Information History & Heritage
  4. ^ Burrough, THB (1970). Bristol. London: Studio Vista. ISBN 0-289-79804-3.
  5. ^ a b "Pie and a pint in pirates' haunt". Bristol Post. 13 April 2011. Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Ghost-hunt at famous old Bristol pub". Bristol Post. 4 August 2009. Archived from the original on 7 August 2022.
  7. ^ Bennett, Geoffrey (20 April 2019). "'It is a sad day' Last orders, please, as Llandoger Trow closes". Bristol Post. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  8. ^ Morris, Steven (21 April 2019). "Last orders for Bristol pub linked to Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2019.