May 4th – Wordsley House, grade II listed building, sits on Main Street, Stonnall, as it has done since at least the late seventeenth century; one roof purlin was found to be inscribed ’S.I.E. 1677’. It has an interesting history as the former Welsh Harp Inn.
Julian Ward-Davies, in his excellent Stonnall Mysteries thesis, notes the following:
As we continue down Old Chester Road, we pass by Wordsley House on the left, which embodies our next mystery. This is now a private residence, but once it had a very different function. This house was once nationally famous as the now almost legendary Welsh Harp.
Now we may ask, how it was that an inn in the English Midlands took such a name. The explanation is, as I see it, the same as it is for the naming of the Irish Harp at Chester Road, Mill Green near Little Aston. As we have already noted, Chester Road was a major route between London and North Wales. Thus many of the people en route were not only Welsh, but there was also a very high proportion of travellers who were Irish people on their way to and from Holyhead, where there has always been a major connection to Ireland. Thus the Welsh Harp and the irish Harp provided, supposedly, a home-from-home ambience for the straightforward commercial purpose of attracting more customers.