Have you ever walked into a house and felt as though you have been transported straight into a storybook. There is something about Pynes House that is dreamlike…..maybe it’s the large windows that flood each room with a gentle light, the chandeliers that hang opulently from the ceilings or the soft, muted tones of each room that make you never want to leave. I can honestly say that the first time I visited Pynes House, I fell in love. I fell in love with its long, tree lined drive and the giant wooden doors that seem to reach to the sky to welcome you. I fell in love with the history that sits quietly in every corner whispering to you of a by-gone day. It is no surprise then that Jane Austin took such inspiration from this magical place. It is believed that the novelist stayed here on one of her holidays to Devon and that it inspired Barton House in ‘Sense and Sensibility.’
It has undergone a huge restoration by its new owners over the past few years. However, what strikes you most about this house, is the fact that whilst it retains its historic canvas, Pynes House is very much a modern home. It has been restored with such love and care, maintaining so much of the original features whilst bringing it very much into this century. It is light and airy and with a sense of timeless elegance that I have not seen in many other houses of this age.
To give you a little more insight into the house I thought it might be nice to hear from the current owners, so I asked Heather to tell me a bit more.
Can you tell me a little bit about the history of Pynes House? What were your first impressions when you saw the house?
The house dates back to 1700, with additions made in the 18th and 19th centuries including the grand entrance hall. The moment you turn the corner and see the long impressive tree-lined driveway you begin to feel how special Pynes House truly is. The first time we visited, we felt a sense of how grand and beautifully detailed the house is whilst at the same time could feel its charm and warmth. I love being tucked into the valley surrounded by hills on all four sides and the river down below. The views from the stone balcony in the Drawing Room are breath-taking. It was definitely love at first sight, and we have the great pleasure of witnessing many of our couples feel the same way we did when they first arrive.
There has been a great deal of restoration work done on the house since you took it over. What was your vision for the restoration?
Our vision was to preserve everything we could of the character, historical fabric and integrity of the house and supply some long overdue TLC. Our aim in decorating was to emphasise the feelings of luxury of space and light, fully utilising the proportions of the large rooms, tall ceilings and large sash windows.
Is there a particular story about the house that you love?
Aside from it being widely believed that Pynes House is Barton Park in Jane Austen’s novel, Sense and Sensibility, my favourite story suits the wedding venue brilliantly as it’s so romantic. It’s said that the beautiful myrtle bush in the rose terrace grew from the sprig of myrtle in Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet (of which she handed a part of her bouquet to each of her bridesmaids). It always reminds me of what a special marriage Victoria and Albert were said to have had and I love knowing that our couples get to share in a little piece of that on their big day.
What did you hope to achieve? What do you feel is your greatest achievement?
From the moment we saw it, we thought Pynes House would make a stunning wedding venue. The large State rooms which are hired for weddings were designed for entertaining and the house really does come alive when we have weddings and other celebrations here. Our greatest achievement is having carried out the extensive restoration work so that the house can be opened up and experienced and enjoyed by so many people. The events are funding ongoing maintenance and improvements at Pynes House which is why weddings and other events are essential support for this.
What do you love about living in Pynes House?
I love watching it come alive with weddings and celebrations which it was originally built for, as well as watching the people who visit experience its joy.
What type of functions can the house be hired for?
The house can be hired on an exclusive basis for weddings – including both the ceremony and reception; for parties – whether for Christmas, a birthday, a special anniversary or just for the sake of it; for photo shoots or film hire.
To hire Pynes House for your event please contact Heather or Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact me for your Pynes House photography.