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271204-08. © NRT, 2004
Plymouth House, Northop, Flintshire, UK, 27 December, 2004

Named after the Earl of Plymouth, whose estates included the manor of Northop from 1706 to the early 19th Century, this is now a four-star guest house.
The Grade II* listed building featured in a BBC documentary series a few years ago, in which archaeologists studied the building and local archives, so its history is fairly well understood.
The design of the staircase suggests the basic building was constructed in 1620-40, though the exterior dates from renovation work commissioned in 1673 by Col. Roger Whitley, MP for Chester and the UK's Postmaster General following the 1660 Restoration of the Monarchy. The bricked-up doorway over the present front door led onto the roof of a porch. The eaves are from the 20th Century and the windows are modern (brand new, according to my mother), replacing Victorian sash windows.
Originally a known as 'Ty Mawr' ('Great House'), 'Kort Maur' (a corruption of the Welsh 'Cwrt Mawr', 'Great Court') and 'The Courthouse', it was indeed the local courthouse from at least 1670 to 1776 when it became the major coaching inn, 'The Yacht'. Up to forty carriages arrived each day, requiring fresh horses and accommodation for up to 100 passengers per day. In 1808, a shorter postal route through Shrewsbury was adopted; decline and eventual closure in 1871 left the ex-inn as 'Plymouth House' by 1900.

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Day in the life... © NRT, 2004