The Captain's Wife

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The Captain's Wife

The Captain's Wife is a public house in the former fishing hamlet of Swanbridge in Sully, between Barry and Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales.[1] The pub was established in 1977 from a row of three sea houses. Notable smuggling operations once took place here and a tunnel connected the sea to what was known as Sully House.[2] It takes its name from the wife of a sea captain who lived here and buried her in a nearby wood rather than confessing to her dying aboard his ship. The body of the wife was originally kept in a box that was mistaken for treasure and stolen.[3] Today the Spinney Park Holiday and Leisure Park surrounds the pub.


In 2002 the owners of the pub caused controversy by placing parking charges for people coming to the pub and beach. By January 2003, the scheme had been dropped. Local councillor Anthony Ernest said, "I am extremely pleased that the owners have now realised that their decision, while perhaps 'commercial' in its approach, in fact did little more than cause an upset to the many people who over many years have visited Swanbridge to enjoy the views, and take a little refreshment at the same time. I took a number of steps to encourage the proprietors to scrap the charges, which had local people up in arms. I am pleased that they have now reflected on that decision and decided that the hassle caused was not worth the effort, let alone the loss of business."[4]


The pub is reputedly haunted by the ghost of the Captain's wife, who often appears as a dark shadow and disoriented.[2] Another female spirit is said to walk through the bar doors and walk the length of the lounge before disappearing into the fruit machine.[2] A male ghost of a man with windswept hair who died about the age of 40 is said to roam the bar area. A ghost of a young boy aged 4-5 is often heard in one of the upstairs bedrooms, and another young boy has been seen regularly near the chimney in the bar area; it is believed he was trying to escape from his violent father and died there.[2]


  1. ^ Somerville, Christopher (1 July 1988). Coastal walks in England and Wales. Grafton. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-246-13029-7. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "CAPTAINS WIFE PUBLIC HOUSE Barry, Nr Cardiff". Glamorgan Paranormal. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  3. ^ "The Captain's Wife in Penarth". Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Sully pub axes car park fees". South Wales Echo via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 17 January 2003. Archived from the original on 17 November 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2012.

Coordinates: 51°24′0″N 3°11′53″W / 51.40000°N 3.19806°W / 51.40000; -3.19806