For over 400 years, Prideaux has been the home of the Prideaux-Burne family. The family’s origins date back to the 11th century; today’s Prideaux-Burnes are directly descended from William the Conqueror. Prideaux Place was completed in 1592 and has been enlarged and modified by successive generations. Today it combines the traditional E-shape of Elizabethan architecture with the 18th century exuberance of Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill Gothic. Of its 81 rooms, 44 are bedrooms — only 6 of which are habitable today. Many of the other bedrooms are just as Company B of the U.S. Army’s 121st Engineer Combat Battalion left them at the end of World War II, after occupying the House from Oct 12, 1942 until Apr 24, 1944. During the 1980s a hidden ceiling in the Great Chamber, now acknowledged to be a masterpiece of Elizabethan plasterwork, was uncovered.
First Broadcast: 12th April 2005