Seafield House will be ‘long term project’ says new owner

"What am I going to do with it?" - Rob Braddick ponders over the fate of his new purchase. Picture:

"What am I going to do with it?" - Rob Braddick ponders over the fate of his new purchase. Picture: Sarah Howells - Credit: Archant

Businessman Rob Braddick, who purchased the property with ‘mentor’ Michael Cannon, says ‘all options are on the table’ for Seafield House.

"What am I going to do with it?" - Rob Braddick ponders over the fate of his new purchase. Picture:

"What am I going to do with it?" - Rob Braddick ponders over the fate of his new purchase. Picture: Sarah Howells - Credit: Archant

The new owner of Seafield House says he has been ‘completely overwhelmed’ at the reaction - but has ‘no idea’ what he is going to do with the property.

Westward Ho! businessman Rob Braddick, who owns The Pier House in Merley Road, just up from the ‘haunted’ house, bought the house at auction yesterday (Wednesday) for £414,000.

He purchased the property with Michael Cannon, who formerly ran the Portledge Estate at Fairy Cross.

Mr Braddick said Mr Cannon had been ‘like a mentor’ to him.

The auction for Seafield House at the Pier House today (Wednesday).

The auction for Seafield House at the Pier House today (Wednesday). - Credit: Archant

He said: “He used to eat at The Pier House and he said, ‘if that house ever comes up on the market, we’ll talk’.


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“It’s going to be a long term project though so don’t expect to see anything soon.

“We need to get a survey done on the house and on the cliff to see what the structure it like.

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“But all options are on the table - it’s a very fluid plan and we don’t know what it’s going to be yet,”

The auction for Seafield House at the Pier House today (Wednesday).

The auction for Seafield House at the Pier House today (Wednesday). - Credit: Archant

At the fall of the hammer yesterday the auction room erupted with applause from the 300-odd people who had come to see the house’s fate.

Since then Mr Braddick says he has had people giving him bottles of Champagne and shaking his hand in the street.

He said: “I had Channel Four ring me up this morning and Sara Cox was discussing it on Radio Two.

“It’s been in loads of national papers too - I can’t believe it; it’s quite overwhelming actually.”

And the day before the auction, Mr Braddick announced he had acquired Seafield car park opposite the house on a 50-year lease and would be providing free parking for all.

He added: “We are going to apply to the council to extend the car park as at the moment it is quite narrow.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to get enough room for people to park on both sides.”

The 12-bedroom house was sold by guest auctioneer Lester Bird for Bideford-based estate agents Seldons.

Seafield House is thought to have been built around 1885 and during the Second World War was used by the MOD as the officer’s quarters with Italian prisoners of war accommodated in nearby fields.

It was purchased in the 1950s and owned by the same family since then, at one point trading as a bed and breakfast.

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