Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

The Manor House, Seaton, Devon

This Grade II listed town house with it's elegant Georgian style frontage is now a Residential Home for the elderly. However, it began life as a Tudor home for the Starr family, and was called Pale House (the rear part of the building having 16th century origins), and was later owned by the Willoughby's who were earlier Lords of the Manor. The frontage was extended in 1800 by the Trevelyans, who had inherited the house along with the title through marriage from Sir John Willoughby. Interestingly, there is a Willoughby House a short distance along the road. I haven't come across any connection, but it is a rather nice coincidence which is worth looking into.  

According to the British Listings website the house was once listed as Manor House School. I couldn't find out much, but with a little digging I came across an obscure item in The Edinburgh Gazette dated November 10, 1959, which mentioned a 'Hilda Ann Feare, of Rose Cottage, Elsing in the county of Norfolk, widow, lately residing and carrying on business at Manor House School, Seaton in the county of Devon, as principal of a private school'.

I also found a reference to a member on the social network website 'LinkedIn' to have been a pupil of Manor House School. I don't know when it became a residential care home but the last British Listing was in 1983, so it must have some time before then. The Manor House (Seaton) Ltd, as it is now, was only registered in 2002 as a private company. However, it was probably an independant business previous to that.  

A fairly conventional 18th century frontage of three storeys with five bays containing tall sash windows on the ground and first floors, it nevertheless looks lovely with it's old, faded, red brick and pretty front garden. The central doorway is a delight with it's fluted pilasters. I especially like the large rectangular fanlight with lead tracery and the door panel reveals.

At the rear, photo above, is the original two storey part of the building, built with unrendered stone rubble and stone quoins surrounding the windows. It was quite a common thing at one time to build outwards at the front or even just add a new brick frontage to an older building, as it saved rebuilding from scratch and meant being able to keep up with current fashion.

And below, a rather pretty and quirky arrangement of a painted 'walker' used to display a flower basket full of colourful summer plants.

Some more photos, along with these, can also be seen in the Photo Gallery album.

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