Fascinated by owning our first listed building we were keen to delve into its past and discover how the house has fared over the years.

Ecclesiastical and military connections seem to be a common theme running through its history.

The original part of Picton House dates back to 1776 - a stonemason has carved his initials and the date into the stone wall.

The casement windows to the front of the house have unusual cast iron supports in the centre of the stone architrave, one of the reasons why the house has a Grade 2 listing.

The house was enlarged and aggrandised with a top storey added in the early 19th century and another wing added to the rear. We think this was probably in the 1830's.

In more recent times the House was owned by Sherborne Rural District Council before becoming a very successful small Hotel and Restaurant. Latterly the House has been run as a Bed and Breakfast and after a brief time as a private house we have opened the house to Guests once again and launched Picton House Luxury Townhouse Accommodation.

Stonemason's Mark

1937 House Sale


1776 The house in its original form is built
1800-1830 Between these dates the house was enlarged to the footprint it is today.
1834 Royal Naval Commander Peter Craufurd and his family own and are living in the house.
1849 Peter Craufurd dies and his wife Lucretia and daughter Louisa, son James and his family are living at the house.
1871 Louisa Craufurd has inherited the house and is living in the house with Mary Warner.
1891 Louisa dies and the house is bought by the Reverend Robert Duncan, the Rector of Beer Hackett. Beer Hackett is a small Hamlet 4 miles from Sherborne.
1901 Henry Dunkin, a clerk in Holy Orders, is living at the house and is a school master at Sherborne School.
1909 Colonel George Hastings Bittlestone
1911 This is the first date that we know the name of the House to be Picton House. Mary Shewell is living here.
1914 Anne Clarke is living here.
1919 Henry Halford and Alice Eliza Fowke. Henry Halford had been a Government employee but had fallen on hard times. In a letter to the Appointments Department of the Ministry of Labour, he threatens to murder his family to save them from poverty!!
1920 Vice Admiral Arthur David Ricardo and Rhoda Sophia Ricardo are residents.
1937 The Duncans who still own the house sell it to Sherborne Rural District Council for £600.00. The house is called "Silverheyes" at this time.
1970s The house is sold by the Council and it becomes privately owned once again. It opens as a restaurant called 'Sylvesters'. We are told it was 'the best restaurant in Sherborne!' The name is still imprinted in the front doormat well.
1980s The house is operating as a small hotel and restaurant.
1990s The House is called 'The Pheasants' but we don't know at what point the name was changed to this.
2000s The house is operating as a B & B up to 2010.
2012 We buy 'The Pheasants' and begin a total refurbishment and upgrade of the building. We reinstate the name 'Picton House'
2014 Picton House Luxury Townhouse Accommodation opens its doors and welcomes guests once again.

We are still investigating the history of the house and would love to hear from anyone who has information about its history or used to visit it in years gone by. Please contact Us on 01935 509695 or email melanie@pictonsherborne.com. We will be delighted to hear from you.




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