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One of the first Regency houses to be built on the seafront in Sidmouth was Wallis’s Marine Library and Reading Rooms. This was the early nineteenth-century meeting place for Sidmouth’s fashionable summer visitors.
John Wallis (d. 1818) was a London game, book, map and print maker and seller, operating from 1775, when his business was called the Map Warehouse.
The Library was first opened to the Public, June 20th, 1809, and this romantic watering-place at length boasted what it had long desired, a lounging place in a conspicuous and pleasant situation, where articles of fancy, as well as information and utility, may be met with; where the news of the day may be collected and discussed. No situation can be more favourable for all these purposes than the Royal Marine Library.
This establishment was long awaited in Sidmouth. In 1815 HMS Bellerophon passed this way with Napoleon on board. All the hire telescopes at the Library were taken. Napoleon was transferred to HMS Northumberland at Torbay and taken to St Helena. Between 1815 and 1845 the building was enlarged, and by 1865 had become The Bedford Hotel.
Originally from Budleigh Salterton, Devon, The Pyne Family are third generation farmers at South Farm. They started selling their home grown produce in the Farm shop back in the 1970’s and its still going strong today.
In March 1990 the family bought The Bedford Hotel, Sidmouth and in February 1991 Pyne’s at The Bedford, a sea front bar and restaurant was formed. Both have been owned and run by the family ever since.
Over the past 20 years both Pyne’s and The Bedford Hotel has built a good reputation amongst locals and visitors for good food which is locally sourced, much of which is from the family farm.
Now in the second generation, The Bedford is continually improved and refurbished to meet guests’ needs whilst striving to provide a personal feel and a warm and friendly welcome that you would expect from a family run hotel.