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18 September 2014
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Plymouth House Mystery

   Select the questions to find out more about a North Wales home.

Plymouth House
When was the house built? 'Plymouth House Mystery' activity Who were the original owners of the house?
Plymouth House
Why did the house have three names? 'Plymouth House Mystery' activity Was Plymouth House ever a coaching inn?
Image of barn next to Plymouth House

Image of Northop blacksmith sign

Image of barn interior
Was Plymouth House ever a coaching inn?
The property is built on the busy Holyhead Road, part of the route which links London and Dublin. The road's importance was established in Elizabeth I’s reign when messengers tore down to London to the bring news of the Irish colonies. Northop was always an important staging post. Tithe records, trade directories and press archives reveal that Plymouth House was known as The Yacht Inn at this time and that it played an important part in servicing the busy postal route between Chester and Holyhead. The property formed part of a chain of Yacht Inns - details of two others on the road have been traced.

There is further evidence of Plymouth House’s past as a coaching inn. By looking at the brick bonding on the barns, it can be seen that these were later additions. Joists and an old fireplace also reveal that the first floor of the barn was possibly used as domestic quarters for the people looking after the horses. Up to forty carriages a day would have used the inn, each needing a change of horses and accommodation for its passengers - up to 100 a day. The Yacht Inn thrived but the good times came to an abrupt halt in 1808 when a shorter postal route through Shrewsbury was adopted. The Yacht Inn struggled on till 1871 when it finally closed down and became a regular residence.

This was discovered by looking at: Newspaper adverts at Chester Record Office; manorial stewards accounts at Cardiff Record Office; reports on the Chester – Holyhead road at the PRO; trade directories; quarter session records. Specialists also investigated the flue from the fireplace in the barn, and discovered that this was shared the main house flue, lending credence to the theory that barn was a later addition.


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