1902 – Dunleath Arms Hotel, Ballywalter, Co. Down

Architect: William J. Fennell


Small hotel, Lord Dunleath “intends to run the inn under the Gothenburg principle, falling into line with a movement which is increasing in favour in the North of Ireland”. Now a private residence.

The Gothenburg or Trust Public House system originated in the 1860s in Gothenburg, Sweden, in an attempt to control the consumption of spirits. The city of Gothenburg awarded its sole retail licence for spirits to a trust, with the aim of controlling consumption. The shareholders of the trust were to receive a maximum return of 5% annually and all other profits were to be used to benefit the local community. The town treasury was to control the income generated and use it to provide libraries, museums, parks and other community facilities. The success of the system led to its spread throughout Sweden and further afield.

In Scotland, pubs run under the Gothenburg system are often colloquially known as “Goths”. A premise of these pubs was that they were not to be attractive or welcoming, to discourage drinking, and the sale of spirits was not to be encouraged. There was just under 400 “trust houses” in England and Wales by 1914.