Aeolian Harp

Contributed by Plas Newydd

Plas Newydd is an historic house that was once owned by the so-called Ladies of Llangollen who caused a stir in society in the 1800s by setting up home together. Among their many visitors were the world-famous figures the Duke of Wellington, Sir Walter Scott and Wordsworth.

The Aeolian Harp would have been in the house during this time. It's played by the wind. As the wind blows through the strings, the strings vibrate, and the sound is amplified by the box construction of the harp, very much like a guitar. There were frequent complaints by visitors that it would keep them awake at night. The harp is the original, and dates from at least 1795, as the poet Anna Seward, who visited the Ladies, states that it was fixed in the Library window.

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