Our HistoryPytchley House is situated on the 12th hole of the Lyford Cay Golf Course. It has 5 bedrooms all with en suite bathrooms incl. tub / shower units. There is also an artist's studio at the back of the house. Pytchley House was one of the earliest homes to be built at the Lyford Cay. In the 1960′s, Sir Gerald Glover, a successful solicitor and race horse owner, was also a director of McAlpine’s who were involved in many building projects in The Bahamas. Sir Gerald used to stay with his great friend, Henry Montgomery Charrington, who had been put in charge of selling the newly delineated land plots at Lyford Cay and also of bringing in the first members. Apparently Sir Gerald showed little interest in either until he was in the departure lounge at the airport when he suddenly picked up the airport phone, reached Henry and said simply ‘Those three lots on the 12th green – I’ll take them.’
Sir Gerald lived in England in an Elizabethan manor house called Pytchley House. The Pytchley fox hounds were in kennels in the village and Sir Gerald was master of the Shire pack for many years. Pytchley House, Bahamas, was designed by Happy Ward, senior architect of Robertson Ward. The everyday overseer was an English lady, Anne Webb Johnson. Although now equipped with central air conditioning, the house was designed with cross draughts, ceiling fans and wide verandahs so air conditioning would be rarely used.
From the very first day Sir Gerald employed a Haitian gardener, Mr Johnny John. Johnny only retired in 2011 after 50 years at Pytchley House. It is one of the few houses to have kept all its native trees and he designed a garden round them. The garden is Johnny’s life’s work.
In the 1970′s Pytchley House was rented by Sir Oliver Symmonds of Symmonds Engineering. Sir Oliver had built El Mirador on the hill next to Pytchley House. Both houses used the excellent Bahamian builder, Willard Aranha. Sir Oliver had sold El Mirador to Lord and Lady Martonmere and he spent his last years at Pytchley House. Back in the U.K. Westminster Abbey was being restored and some of the medieval sculptures were deemed to be past repair. Sir Oliver heard of this and promptly bought some! So it is that the 13th century lion and unicorn came to Pytchley House along with the 11th century Norman trough now used as a flower vase outside the front door.
Sir Gerald Glover was a great family friend and trustee to the present owner’s family who collected the 15 Amos Ferguson’s many years ago – long before he had made a name for himself. Also of interest is the teak table and chairs on the patio. After the battle of Jutland in the first World War the battle ships were eventually broken up. This table and chairs were made from one of them: HMS Lion. There is a plate on the table which confirms ‘HMS LION HELIGOLAND DOGGER BANK JUTLAND 1914-1918 broken up in 1924 by Hughes Co Ltd., Middlesbrough.’
In the tropics, hurricanes come and go and trees and plants do the same. Everything grows quickly. Houses and gardens are constantly changing. At one time you could have seen the sea from Pytchley House. One thing never changes however: Pytchley House has always been and continues to be, a much loved family home.