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The Trout Inn, Wolvercote

The Trout Inn, Wolvercote

Photo: superdove, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr.

Fair Rosamund's Ghost at the Trout Inn

1 June 2021 (Updated 16 February 2024)

The Trout Inn is one of a number of locations haunted by Rosamund Clifford, the mistress of Henry II.

A Royal affair

According to the legend, after their affair was revealed, 'Fair Rosamund' retired to live as a nun at Godstow Nunnery, the ruins of which sit just on the other side of the river to the west.

Despite having publicly shunned Rosamund, Henry continued to visit Rosamund at Godstow and the Trout Inn, which was a guest house or hospice for the Nunnery, was believed to have been the site of their secret trysts.

Is the Trout Inn haunted?

Rosamund Clifford's ghost at the Trout Inn is said to manifest itself in a number of ways. Sometimes she is seen walking about the inn, although she is only visible above the knee due to the floor level having been raised considerably since Rosamund's lifetime.

She is also said to upset glasses and furniture, and occasionally alarm staff and diners by whispering in their ears. These hauntings are often accompanied by the scent of flowers, which some have put down to the fact that Rosamund was apparently buried with a sprig of heather.

You can read more about the legend of Fair Rosamund at Woodstock and at Godstow Abbey.

Fair Rosamund: pub ghost or actual pub?

Rosamund is something of an Oxford icon, and in fact for a few decades in the later half of the 20th century there was a pub called the 'Fair Rosamund' on the Elm Rise estate in Botley. The pub had a short life for an Oxford pub, having been built and opened in 1957 and knocked down to make room for flats around the millenium. When open, its pub sign featured an image of Rosamund Clifford holding a posy of primroses, and there was another mural or engraving of Rosamund in one of the interior corridors.


  1. 'Oxfordshire Stories of the Supernatural' by Betty Puttick (Countryside Books, 2003, ISBN: 9781853068119)
  2. 'Oxfordshire Ghost Stories' by Richard Holland (Bradwell Books, 2013, ISBN: 9781902674735)
  3. 'Oxford Pubs Past and Present' by Paul J. Marriott (Self-published, 1978, ISBN: 0950573027)