Pythouse

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Coordinates: 51°03′22″N 2°07′59″W / 51.056°N 2.133°W / 51.056; -2.133

Pythouse.

Pythouse, sometimes spelt Pyt House and pronounced pit-house, is a country house near Tisbury in Wiltshire, in the west of England.

Described as a "fine classical house",[1] Pythouse is set in parkland with a ha-ha. With its Ionic portico, the front elevation probably inspired the design of Philipps House at nearby Dinton, which was begun a little later in 1813 and designed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville.

The land of the existing building (likely already containing a house) was given to the Pyt family (pronounced pit) in around 1225 by the abbess of Shaftesbury. The Pyts (alias Bennett, as homeage to the Benedictine Abbey of Shaftesbury), then lived continuously on the estate until around 1651. They were forced to sell in order to pay fines levied against them by Parliament following the Civil war, as the Pyts (alias Bennetts) fought for the Royalists.

The house was then bought by the Grove family, who were close friends of the Pyts. They sold it to the Benett family (no relation to the earlier Bennetts) in around 1707.

The current Pythouse was built about 1725 (replacing an earlier Elizabethan house) and was rebuilt in 1805 by John Benett (1773–1852), the then-owner and amateur architect, who "Palladianized" the house. Rear service wings were added in 1891.

The house remained in the Benett family until the mid-1950s, when death duties forced its sale. The house was then owned for 46 years by the Country Houses Association, a charity which ran it as a retirement home.[2]

In 1966 the house was designated as Grade II* listed[3] and in 1990 the small chapel in the grounds, built around 1827 by John Benett, received the same designation.[4]

Pythouse (together with 95 acres (380,000 m2) of land) was sold again in 2004 for £7 million[5] and is once more a residential home.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Eyre, John, Pythouse and the Benetts Country Houses Association (Banbury, England)
  • Nikolaus Pevsner, 1975, Wiltshire in The Buildings of England series. Penguin
  • John Martin Robinson, 2005, "Pythouse, Wiltshire" Country Life 199:1, 36-41

References[edit]

External links[edit]