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July 23rd 2003

Goteborg, Sweden



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The Prestoungrange Gothenburg's Origins and Principles

The Prestoungrange Gothenburg was built in 1908 by the directors of the East of Scotland Public House Trust Company, a goal they had had since their establishment in 1901 in Edinburgh. It was to be a public house in the best traditions of the temperance movement, and was constructed on land acquired from Belfield, the potters, which had previously been within the Prestoungrange Baronial lands of the Grant Sutties. The founders were men of distinction including Thomas Nelson III and a future Governor General of Australia and Secretary of State for Scotland, Lord Novar. The full story is told by the Baron of Prestoungrange in Historical Booklet No. 13 - The Prestoungrange Gothenburg.

The name Gothenburg was not formally adopted until the late 1980s having been originally called the Trust House and subsequently the Forth Tavern. But the name had strong roots from 19th Century Sweden where intemperance derived from vodka had been a massive problem. Home manufacture was made illegal in Sweden and the cities were called upon to license public houses as well.
The City Fathers of Gothenburg resolved to address their duties by allowing only fixed interest rates on loan finance and diverting the profits to Public Sector Services. Public house managers were only bonus-ed for the sale of food and non alcoholic beverages.

By the start of the 20th Century more than a few public houses had been taken over by such Trusts and several built anew - in the manner of the Prestoungrange Trust House.
  The Gothenburg

For nearly a century it served the mining community and its successors in Prestonpans, under a series of owners. It passed from the founding trustees to the London based Trust Houses in 1919 and then to Bass. Finally before John and Scott Murray acquired and closed it for conversion to a private home, two landlords conducted the business - James and Judith Bell and Malcolm McIlwraith. By the late 90s trade had declined dramatically and there was no commitment to make it live again in the very different world Prestonpans had become.

It was at this time that the Barons of Prestoungrange and of Dolphinstoun conceived their grand plan which has now unfolded. Today, a significantly experienced team led by Anne Taylor as CEO offers the Pans world clan facilities in an historic setting on the shores of the Firth of Forth.


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