Pynes, a 10 bedroom William and Mary stately home in Devon, has six reception rooms, ten attic rooms and a 37 acre park. Pynes was originally the mansion for the Pynes Estate, which surrounds and protects the house principally to the north.
Pynes is situated in a delightful parkland setting in an elevated position with views over the valley of the River Exe, surrounding agricultural land and woodland. The property is three miles from the centre of the cathedral city and county town of Exeter (train to London in just over two hours), six miles from the M5 motorway and eight miles from Exeter Airport.
Pynes is one of the grandest properties in England – a Grade II* listed William and Mary house, thought to be the inspiration for Jane Austen’s Barton Park in Sense and Sensibility, with a ceremonial stone entrance hall, built for a visit from Queen Victoria.
The house is constructed of attractive warm red brickwork with Portland stone dressings with deep sash windows under a slate hipped roof with lead ridges, moulded cornice and parapet with large brick axial chimney stacks with classical pots.
The house is constructed in a square plan with the 19th century additions arranged around a small courtyard. The house is built on four storeys with the garden front to the south east, originally the main entrance facade. To the north there is a restrained, later 18th century extension in red brick with stone bands containing the former Justice Room and kitchen. A water tower was added in about 1879 by James Jermar.
On the south west elevation, an imposing entrance was added as a ceremonial entrance hall in 1852 by Ambrose Poynter for Sir Stafford Henry Northcote, later Earl of Iddesleigh (1819 – 1887). Stone stairs rise from the former basement level to a landing with heavy stone interlacing balustrade on three sides. The detail comprises a niche with classical statue facing the entrance and a ceiling cove embellished with arms in strapwork.
The house contains some fine architectural features, including well proportioned reception rooms and bedrooms, most of which enjoy magnificent views. The main rooms and bedrooms contain 18th century shutters, some 19th century Adam-style fireplaces and some fine ceilings, essentially of the early 18th century. The dining room seats 34 people and has two Adam-style fireplaces.
The reception hall give access to a stately and handsomely proportioned staircase of traditional type with closed string but balusters with thick spiral above a ball and ramped rail. A stained-glass window, including some 17th century German roundels, illuminates the main staircase.
Today, the house offers spacious accommodation with fine reception rooms on the ground floor with a large kitchen/breakfast room. At first floor level there are 10 bedrooms, dressing room and five bathrooms. It is a house for hide-and-seek, with walk-in wardrobes, servants’ corridors and an attic.
The house is approached from a long driveway over a cattle grid to a large gravelled forecourt with two fine stags designed by Charles R. Smith. These impressive stags are truly stunning and feature real stag horns.