AI NO DERRIDA

Monday, 16 September 2013

Creepy and Spooky Seafield House

Perched on a cliff edge in the North Devon Town of Westward Ho, and known by the locals as Creepy, Spooky and even The Old Haunted House, this is in fact the wonderful old Seafield House. I came across Seafield House back in 1980 when on an out of season holiday at the slightly empty Westward Ho Holiday Centre. Staying at The Top Camp as it was known then, was at times a bit like being in The Shining, with a few people mulling around a very large and dark ballroom, and what was an always empty and dusty snooker room. To get to Westward Ho we had to walk down a very long path which ran down the side of the hill. It was from the top of the hill that I saw Seafield House for the 1st time, and over the coarse of that holiday visited the house, and walked around the outside of it everyday, looking up at it and wondering who lived there??? and what it was like inside??? Seafield House was built around 1885 as a summer residence for the London Banker Brinsley de Courcey Nixon. During the 2nd World War the house was home to British Officers, and the field was home to Italian POWs. In the 1950s the house became a Hotel/B&B. The old house is now very run down, with chunks of masonry and slates missing, some signs of attempts at renovation are there, but the scaffolding just seems to be struggling and straining to hold the house up. With nature slowly engulfing the walls, I do fear that the whole building will one stormy night just slide of the edge and into the sea. There does seem to be a lot of strong local feeling for Seafield House and even a Save Seafield House Facebook page. I should point out that when I was chatting to some of the local dog walkers recently, I was told that an elderly lady does still live in the house, but obviously can not keep up with the place. For a rather lovely view of the house from the beach go here. When standing outside looking at how overgrown the gardens and house are, I still can not help wondering what the house is/was like on the inside. There is a description of the interior of the house when it was up for auction in 1950 here. As for the old Top Camp/Holiday Centre,  that got demolished years ago and is now a rather modern looking housing estate, with road names like Gainsborough Drive and Rudyard Way. So after a 33 year gap, I finally got back to visit the old spooky House. With the smell of cheap doughnuts and chips floating in the early morning air, and with pictures taken and memory jogged, I left Seafield House and headed back to the car.  When passing some lovely Beach Huts I glanced upwards, and wondered if the residents of the new Homes up top were ever kept awake at night by the creepy sound of a ghostly and out of tune dance band or some sweaty chain smoking comedians or maybe a really bad early 80s DJ with his sound to light blocks, trying to get a half empty hall of pensioners drunken parents and bored teenagers to get up and dance like dandy highwaymen.
I took this photo of Seafield House in 1980

8 comments:

  1. Great back story and photographs. Love the updated version of The Shining too.

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  2. Lovely, Keith.
    Next time you're passing, would you mind knocking on the door and asking the old lady if she's looking for a caretaker?

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  3. Mr Fearlono........You are the Caretaker.......you've always been the Caretaker............I should know, i've always been here. (sorry could not resist Caretaker/Shining quote)

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    1. In that case, please could you lend me an axe, my wife is really starting to get on my nerves*

      * you see what I did there !

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  4. You know the rules, no axe until you clear up that mess you made in room 237.

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  5. Poor old lady. It might be like Grey Gardens in there.

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  6. Hi, just to keep you up to date re Seafield house, the old lady is now in a home and the contents have just been auctioned off. Google it a nd you'll see a glimpse or two of the inside of Seafield house.
    I would imagine that the house itself would be up for auction sometime soon though I don't know it.
    Nickoli72

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