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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?
Detail from map showing location of Northop

Image of portrait of Charles Whitley

Detail from apportionment records for The Yacht Inn
Who were the original owners of the house?
The earliest reference of the estate is in 1578, when the land was in possession of the Earl of Bridgewater. A survey of the parish by Edward Llewyd c1695 lists a house (Kort Mawr - an important court or manor house) amongst the important property in the village. The house, described as ‘A courthouse and 12 acres of land’, passed Richard Whitley in 1670. Whitley leased the house to a Richard Sneade and authorised him to make extensive renovations to the house.

Whitley had been a fervent royalist, exiled in 1649 following Charles I’s demise. He returned to favour during the Restoration when he became an MP and Mayor of Chester. With his new found wealth and standing, he bought land in Northop. He made extensive and fashionable renovations to the ancient manor house – Ty Maer – he found on the property, details of which can be found in letters from Roger Whitley dated 1673. Renovations were in very sophisticated style – an ornate exterior built around a plainer shell. His granddaughter, Elizabeth Whitley, married the Earl of Plymouth, so the house passed into the Plymouth family. The house formed the central residence of Earl of Plymouth’s estates and was cited as ‘a dwelling of some significance’. The house was then converted to a coaching inn and called The Yacht Inn. It is now a residence known as Plymouth House.

This was discovered by: looking at the Whitley family deeds, wills of the Bellis family, Northop parish registers importance of maps – the 1718 estate map of the Plymouth family shows a house on the site that is exactly the same shape as the 1840 tithe map and 1910 valuation survey; it was also the largest house in the village in 1718.

 

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