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The Georgian House

The Georgian House is a beautiful 18th century six storey townhouse at No 7, Great George Street off Park Street. It was built for John Pinney by William Paty between 1788 and 1791.

The house is displayed as it might have looked in John Pinney’s day and is one of the best preserved period-house museums with decoration and furniture true to the period. John Pinney was a West India merchant who came to Bristol after retiring from the plantations in 1783. He founded Pinney and Tobin sugar merchants and became a very wealthy man.

He died in 1818 and the house passed to Charles, his youngest son. The building is an illustration of how Bristol profited from overseas trade and appeared in “A Respectable Trade” BBCs production of Philippa Gregory’s novel. Indeed the house was home to the slave Pero and the displays show how life differed for those above and below stairs.

On the ground floor is the Study which was originally the Library. There are two very impressive magnificent original built-in bookcases and here hangs a portrait of John Pinney. At the back of the house are the Breakfast Parlour leading through the original arched opening to the Eating Room.

On the first floor is the Drawing Room. The settee and armchairs date from the 1780s and the wallpaper is matched to that found from a fragment of the original found in the room. Originally the two front rooms were a bedroom and a small drawing room. One is now furnished as a ladies’ drawing room. The Library contains a huge mahogany double secretaire bookcase and a walnut veneered oak collector’s cabinet. The family Bible resides in this room containing information of John Pinney’s marriage and the births of his seven children.

The second floor has five rooms all originally bedrooms or dressing rooms. The main Bedroom was originally styled very simply to John Pinney’s taste, therefore the bed has been hung with cotton dimity based on a simple design by George Hepplewhite.

Down in the Basement from the Hall is a large kitchen. This is fully equipped with roasting spit and oven and many authentic utensils – pots and pans, jelly moulds, spice boxes. The Laundry next door contains two coppers for boiling water. The sole water supply to the house was from a tank underneath the floor activated by a pump. Next door is a small room fitted out as a drying room. The Housekeeper’s Room has all the original fitted shelving where the china and linen would be stored. Opposite is the original cold-water plunge bath lined with stone.

Living History days show how life might have been in the 17th and 18th centuries with characters and members of the household going about their daily lives.



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