A reconstructed Georgian merchant’s house that provides a stark reminder of Bristol’s slave-trading history
During the 18th century, 500,000 slaves passed through Bristol’s port, and, as a result, the city prospered. The Georgian House in Park Street was built in 1790 by John Pinney – a merchant who made his fortune in sugar and slave plantations. It’s been faithfully reconstructed and is now a free museum that aims to give an idea of what life was like then, from the lavish to the everyday.
By Georgian standards, Pinney was nouveau riche. The house is a testament to this: stately, solid but still built to impress. There’s a dining room laid for a dinner party, a library and a ladies’ drawing room, set for cards and tea.
By a long way, the kitchen beneath stairs is the most interesting space, lined with copper pots and strange domestic devices, designed to make the opulent habits of the family possible.
There’s minimal information, but the staff are pretty darn knowledgeable if you have questions. Mostly, you’re left to wander and take it all in at your own pace.
The last room you reach attempts to put what you’ve seen into perspective. It contains a small exhibition about slavery, including drawings and written documentation from John Pinney himself. Unsettling, but vastly important.
|Venue name:||The Georgian House Museum|
7 Great George Street