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Our Story


Traditional 18th Century free house

A long and interesting history spanning four centuries resides behind this old building.

The Ship as it stands today was originally three separate buildings. Prior to the 1850s: the front part, facing Parkgate Parade was a house and a shop, which at one time was the post office, behind it sat “The Ship Inn” and behind that was another inn called the Black Bull (accessed by Drury Lane, the passage between the pub and what was Mostyn House).

(Photo and content contribution credits to the Parkgate Society)


1860 Parkgate and an identical image below the foreground was known as Donkey Island


Freemason meeting house

'The Ship' has a long history, or the name at least, as it can be traced back to the mid-eighteenth century. “The Ship” as recorded in the freemasons records, was the meeting place for the Parkgate Freemason’s from 1758 until 1775 however it is unknown whether this refers to our current site or another ‘Ship’ in the area. In 1829 the Black Bull was advertised to let and then doesn’t seem to be mentioned anywhere again.

Parkgate packet princess royal 1790


The Ship and the Princess Royal

The first mention of the Ship, definitely in Drury Lane is in 1822 when it is variously called ‘The Ship and the Princess Royal’. The ‘Princess Royal' was a passenger-carrying ship between Parkgate and Dublin built at Parkgate around 1790 and was still sailing here in 1808 however by 1810 had commenced sailing out of Liverpool. The inn was named after this passenger ship.

Parkgate sands 1880


Purchased by the Parkgate Hotel Company

The Ship inn belonged to the Parkgate Hotel Company, who demolished the old building, rebuilt and enlarged it making all three houses into one. But the expense bankrupted the company. (Centre building in photo)

Promenade c1900 1 union hotel


Union Hotel

In 1860 a new owner reopened it as the ‘Union Hotel’ perhaps the name reflecting on the union of the original three buildings. The hotel went bankrupt again in 1865. (Far right building in this photo).

Parkgate31 the sands 1910


The freemasons returned

Around 1876 John Acton, previously at the Chester Arms (another free house in Parkgate located on Station Road) became landlord. He was a keen Freemason, and from then until 1922 the freemasons met in a converted stable and coach house behind the hotel. (Centre of the photo to the left of Mostyn House).

46917491684 717d7accb3 b old postcard 1970


Purchased by Trust House Forte

In the 1970s the hotel was refurbished by new owners Trust House Forte and reverted to its former name ‘The Ship Hotel’.

1200px The Ship Hotel Parkgate 2 240709a


Stange & Co. took ownership

In the early 1990s the premises were purchased by ourselves and have been operated under our stewardship since then, adding to a long and colourful ownership.

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Pub refurbishment and addition of upper deck

Following seven months of closure, the Ship stands proudly on the Parkgate Parade boasting its new upper first floor sun deck as well as its wrap around sun terrace to enjoy what can only be described as some breath-taking views when the weather gods bless us with the summer blue skies and those stunning sunsets. With substantial changes in the bar eliminating the old reception area and restaurant bringing them all together into one to create what is now a light and airy pub throughout.


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Stange & Co. Ltd
Registered Office: 19 Trinity Square,
Llandudno, LL30 2RD
Company registered number: 639690
VAT number: 160 2262 07

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