About The Georgian House Museum
The Georgian House Museum is an 18th century, 6-storey townhouse in Bristol’s city centre.
The Georgian House Museum history
The townhouse was built in 1790 for John Pinney, a wealthy sugar merchant, who also owned plantations on the island of Nevis in the West Indies.
In the late-18th century, the sugar trade was booming and merchants based in Britain’s major slave trading ports such as London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Bristol were making huge profits as the nation’s appetite for the commodity continued to grow.
The size and grandeur of The Georgian House is testament to the growing fortunes of men like Pinney. It is believed to be the house where the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge first met, and was also home to Pinney’s slave, Pero.
In 1765, Pero Jones was bought by John Pinney when he was just 12 years of age to work on his Mountravers plantation in Nevis. In 1784, he accompanied the family in their move from Nevis to Bristol, where they lived in the Georgian House.
Pero was personal servant to John Pinney and served for 32 years. Pero’s Bridge, the footbridge across Bristol’s floating harbour was named in commemoration of the slave who lived and died in the city.
The Georgian House Museum today
The Georgian House Museum is displayed as it might have looked in the 18th century and provides an insight into life above and below stairs.
Eleven rooms spread over four floors, from the kitchen in the basement where servants prepared meals to the elegant formal rooms above where men such as Wordsworth and Coleridge would have conversed.
Areas of the house include the Dining Room, Pinney’s Study, the Drawing Room, Library, Ladies’ Withdrawing Room, Bedroom, a hidden staircase, a small lift (dumb waiter), the Housekeeper’s Room. The house also contains some of the original furniture and fittings such as the bureau-bookcase in the study and a rare cold water plunge bath.
Getting to The Georgian House Museum
The Georgian House Museum is situated halfway along Park Street, Bristol’s famous independent shopping area on Great George Street, and about a five-to-10-minute walk from the city centre.
Whilst there are a limited number of pay-and-display parking spaces along Great George Street, you can park in any of the city car parks nearby such as College Street and Trenchard Street, both about a five-minute walk away.
Please note that The Georgian House Museum also has an online 360 degree virtual tour, for those that are unable to visit in person.
Historic Slavery Sites in the United Kingdom
Discover crucial histories of slavery at these sites around the UK, from the International Slavery Museum at Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool to the Buxton Memorial Fountain outside the Palace of Westminster.