Mount House was already in existence in 1699 when it was mentioned in Rate books as belonging to Ellis Lloyd Esq. of Pen y Lan. It was situated next to the Nags Head Inn and just a little bit further back from the road.
Over the years it was occupied by some of the most important local families. An inventory was made in 1776 of the furniture and from the descriptions it was a very fine place. Two bedrooms were called the Crimson Damask and Yellow Damask rooms, because all the furnishings were of the same fabric.
A John Jones owned it in 1783 and after his death the same year it was owned by a succession of Jones`s. Eventually it was bought in 1806 by Messrs John, Samuel and Thomas Barker who were merchants from Manchester, and after lengthy legal proceedings following the death of Samuel in 1834 it was ordered to be sold in 1852. It then seems to have been occupied by a number of tenants. There was a Manchester Square not far away where traders from that city would sell their goods.
Some time in its history it was used as a barracks.
In 1857 there were many properties in Wrexham that were losing value but the rates were still high. This meant that tenants weren`t willing to pay the high rents that owners were demanding.
The Mount House, too, was empty and would have to be let for less money.
In May 1857 it was advertised and could be used for more than one household.
TO BE LET, and may be entered upon immediately that large and convenient Dwelling- House, known as the “Mount House,” situate in Mount-street Wrexham, formerly in the occupation of the late G. Griffith, Esq. There is a large garden attached, with stabling and other conveniences
N.B.-The above can be let either as one dwelling house or two, to suit the parties making application.
One of these tenants was a Mr. Chaloner who just before Christmas 1859 made the news.
ACCIDENT TO MR CHALONER. — We are very sorry to hear that Mr Chaloner, of the Mount House, in this town, has met with an accident during the late severe weather, whereby he had the misfortune to break his leg. As Mr Chaloner has a large family, it has been determined by a few friends to get up a subscription on his behalf, and several sums have been already subscribed.
By May 1863 it looks like that the tenant was a Mr Owen of the Royal Oak on High Street. He was leaving and selling up.
SALE AT THE MOUNT HOUSE, WREXHAM, Mr B. RICHARDS has received instruction from Mr. T Owen, who is leaving the town, TO SELL BY AUCTION, on the above premises, on Saturday, May 9th, 1863, the whole of the HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, and other Effects, comprising kitchen and bed- room chairs, two screens, two oak leaf tables, capital sycamore kitchen table with fall leaf and drawer, single ditto, round oak stand, dresser and shelves, painted corner cupboard, ditto sideboard with drawer and cupboard, four post and tent bedsteads with mattress, in chintz hangings, three excellent feather beds, bolster and pillows, wash-stands and dressing-tables, easy chaIr, commode, oak chest, carpets, pictures, trays, fenders, &c., &c.
Later that year the property was advertised again.
TO BE LET, with immediate possession, the MOUNT HOUSE, Wrexham, containing Dining and Drawing Rooms, Breakfast Parlour, small Sitting Room, Kitchen, Back-kitchen, and Pantry, Salting-room, six good Bedrooms, suitable Out-Buildings, together with a good Garden, which is planted with every requisite for the season, and contains a number of good fruit trees. Apply to Mr. Owen, Royal Oak, High St. Wrexham.
The Mount House was soon occupied by a number of tenants, many are mentioned in the news but it looks like none of them stayed for long.
Another tenant was Mr Stephenson, he was there for quite some time and was the leader of the bands and orchestras at many events. Eventually he gave dancing classes.
In 1867 it was announced “There is no dancing class at present in Wrexham. Mr C. A. Stephenson, of Mount House, teaches dancing, and would be able to more fully answer your questions.”
WREXHAM MUSICAL SOCIETY. -The first rehearsals of the above society, and also of the Elementary Singing Class, have proved a great success. In future, as will be seen by reference to our advertising columns, the rehearsals will be held on Friday evenings in Mr Stephenson’s large room, Mount House.
MOUNT HOUSE DANCING ACADEMY. MR C. A. STEPHENSON’S DANCING ACADMEY will RE-OPEN on SATURDAY, the 25th inst Adult Class every Thursday Evening at Eight. Juvenile Class every Saturday Afternoon at Two o’clock. Schools and Families attended.
MR C. A. STEPHENSON’S QUADRILLE BAND, comprising: Violins, Piano, Violoncello, Double Bass, I Flageolet, Clarionet, Cornet, &c., May be engaged on moderate terms for Balls, Parties, Concerts, &c. Terms on application to Mr C. A. STEPHENSON, Mount House, Wrexham. Any number of the above instruments may be selected to attend Private Parties.
Early in 1869 Mr Stephenson left the Mount House and it was advertised again.
TO LET, and entered on immediately, No 1, MOUNT HOUSE.
Apply to Mr C. A. STEPHENSON, Commercial Inn, College-street, Wrexham.
He took over the Commercial; it was a drastic move from a dancing teacher to a publican.
(Saturday nights must have been good!)
1869. THE COMMERCIAL INN. The license of this house was endorsed in the name of Mr Charles Stephenson, teacher of music, who has lately taken it from Mr Barnes.
During and after his time there, other tenants moved in and out but none seemed to stay very long.
By 1870 the building had been sold. A group of gentlemen bought it for £475 and it was to be used as a Working Men’s Club.
WORKING MENS’ CLUB.—We are informed that the committee of the Working Mens’ Club and institute have purchased the Mount House property and are making arrangements for adapting it to their purpose and commencing operations as soon as possible. We heartily wish them success in their undertaking, and trust that those who have not hitherto lent their aid will do so now that the project has assumed a definite shape.
OPENING OF THE WREXHAM WORKING, MEN’S CLUB AND INSTITUTE. Yesterday (Friday) was quite a gala-day, and bids fair to be looked upon as an epoch-day in the history of the town. The occasion of the unusual stir was the opening of the Working Men’s Club .and Institute, which event was celebrated in a manner befitting the occasion.
On 25th February 1871 there was a full account of the event published in the Wrexham Advertiser.
In 1874 Mount House was for sale again, so it may have been than only part of it was used for the Club.
LOT 1.—ALL that FREEHOLD MESSUAGE or Family Residence called Mount House, situate in Mount-street, Wrexham, with the out offices, large garden, and other appurtenances, thereto belonging, with early possession. LOT 2.—those two COTT AGES, with the yard and premises thereto, adjoining Lot 1.
From 1876 to 1878 advertisements were put in the local papers.
EXTRAORDINARY NOVELTIES, are the SIXPENNY HOT DINNERS Off the Joint, with potatoes and vegetables inclusive, Good Soup , Puddings Id, Tea Id, &c., &c., to be had daily at the WORKING MEN’S INSTITUTE, MOUNT HOUSE, Three minutes walk from the High-street. Hot, Cold, and Shower Baths, Billiards, Reading Room, Beds.
The Club wasn`t a great success and Mount House was sold again after about 10 years for £1050, the money was invested and the interest used to buy books for the Wrexham Free Library.
12 November 1881
MOUNT HOUSE We are informed that that during the current week Mr Thomas Rowland, the now Mayor of Wrexham, has become the purchaser of The Mount House, Mount-street, or what had been known of late years as the Workingmen’s Hall and Club, the agreement having been signed, and the deposit paid of the purchase money which which we are informed is £ 1050.
In March 1883 the whole property was up for sale again. It included gardens, land, cattle sheds, etc.
It was “very commodious” and could be adapted as a school or a club.
Part of it was used as a Sunday school and this continued until at least 1888.
By 1892 the building was derelict and was finally demolished in November that year to make way for the Wrexham to Ellesmere Railway. During the work a skull and some bones were found on the site.
After the railway was built the land was used as offices for Soames Brewery, of which only the old chimney remains very close to the site of Mount House.
Researched by Annette Edwards. April 2021.
Sources – A N Palmers History of Wrexham. Wrexham Advertiser.