Only the foundations of that earlier house remain, and in turn they lie atop the foundations of a 17th century house which is believed to have been burnt by the invading French army in 1706. The 17th century building was built by the Freeman family, the first owners of the estate. The 18th century structure was constructed by the Pinneys family, for whom Pinney’s Beach is named.
At one point the Pinneys considered allowing poets and writers from England to reside on the estate as an early “artist’s colony”, but it never came to pass. What makes this an exceptional site is that papers and correspondence of the Pinney family have survived in Bristol and give invaluable information about the buildings and life on the estate, which are being confirmed by archaeology.
The estate was occupied and produced sugar for 300 years.