Life above stairs

The house was built in 1790 for John Pinney, slave plantation owner and sugar merchant. It was also where the enslaved man of African descent, Pero Jones lived.

Above stairs you’ll see:

  • The Dining Room – the table is set for an extravagant dinner party reflecting the wealthy Georgian’s love of entertaining. Look out for the servants’ bells, which were used to summon staff from the basement.
  • Pinney’s Study – furnished simply but to impress, this is where Pinney could discuss business or talk with his friends after dinner. The bookcases contain a collection of his books that reveal his interest in the study of plants and geography.
  • The Drawing Room – where the Pinneys entertained lots of important guests, including Frances, Lady Nelson, wife of Admiral Lord Nelson. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge may also have been entertained here!
  • Library and a Ladies’ Withdrawing Room – this was a place for ladies to talk and sew whilst the men discussed politics and business affairs over a drink in the library.
  • The Bedroom – from the window, John Pinney could have seen ships on the river bringing his plantation goods into Bristol.

A small display explores John Pinney’s involvement in the sugar trade and the life of his enslaved valet, Pero Jones. To find out more about John Pinney, visit the Port Cities website.

Find out what there is to see below stairs.