1750 – Village Inn
Where the Village Inn pub stands today, Youngaton Farm, claimed to be one of the oldest parts of Westward Ho! has parts dating from 1750. This building was the only one in what is now known as the centre of Westward Ho! prior to the Northam Burrows Hotel and Villa Co. buildings in the resort. It was later known as the Grenville Inn.
1854 – Charles Kingsley
came to live in Bideford. His house later became the Stella Maris Convent school, today it is flats. It is while living in Bideford he wrote the book Westward Ho! More….
1855 – Novel published
Charles Kingsely’s novel “Westward Ho!” published
1863 – Company Formed
The Northam Burrows Hotel and Villa Building Company” was formed
1863 – Northam Burrows Hotel and Villa Co. established
Following the success of Charles Kingsley’s book, the Northam Burrows Hotel and Villa Co. was established and built Westward Ho! Hotel, later renamed Royal Hotel in 1867 following the patronage of the Prince Of Wales (later King Edward VII).It was described as a ‘Victorian Domestic Gothic Style’ with 33 bedrooms. It was converted to flats during the 1960’s, demolished in 2000 and Ocean Park was built on the site, the lower section was built using reclaimed stone from the hotel.
1864 – Lower Lodge
It was built on what is now the beach. It was moved to its present location in Golf Links Road in 1879 and today it is a private home.
1864 – Golf Club
It was founded. This makes it the oldest golf course in England.The first match was on November 10th 1864.
1864 – The Villa
was built as an annex to the Westward Ho! Hotel. It became a school in 1905, The Teighmore Prep School moving there from Ilfracombe. It still stands today and is called Golden Bay Court.
1864 – Upper Lodge
was built. Carriages halted here whilst being fitted with extra brakes to descend the steep hill down to the stables next to the hotel.
1864 – Westward Ho! Hotel Stables
were built and included a “tap room” for the grooms and coach drivers. It was converted in the 1990’s to cottages and called The Rocks.
1865 – Golfstone
was built for one of the founder members of the Golf Club (Hutchinson) and stands today known as Culloden House Hotel.
1865 – Nelson Terrace
Number 1-4 were built, the other half was completed in the 1870’s. Nelson Terrace was originally built as a row of Victorian shops with a wrought iron veranda running the length of the façade.
1865 – Pebble Ridge Hotel
was opened. It was gutted by fire and demolished in 1994. Houses were built on the site which is at the end of Pebbleridge Road.
1865 – Rowena Guest House
was built. Today it is flats.
1865 – Torridge House
was built as a Sanatorium, now known as Kingsley Court. During WW2 it was the HQ for the Combined Operations Experimental Department.
1866 – Edward Prince of Wales
joined the Golf Club.
1866 – Nassau Baths
were built as a pool for the pupils of the United Services College. It had pumped sea water and was later renamed Patio Pool, then Lido. It was demolished in 2002 and Nassau Court apartments were built on the site.
1866 – The Hotel Ladies Baths
was built by the Westward Ho! Co. Sea water was pumped into the pool by a steam engine. The building later became Bath Hotel, then Willey’s Amusement Arcade in the 1970’s. The Frying Pan fish & chip shop was added in the 1980’s. The building was demolished in 2004 and a high rise apartment building was built on the site called Horizon View.
1869 – Kingsley Terrace
was built as 12 houses in pairs on 5 levels. It became the United Services College in 1874, Kipling College in 1904 and is known today as Kipling Terrace.
1869 – Westbourne Terrace
was built, originally as coastguard’s cottages.
1870 – Railway started
A start was made on the Bideford and Westward Ho! railway. It was not completed for another 30 years.
1870 – Eastbourne Terrace
1870 – The Pier
was constructed which extended 600ft from the shore. It was soon wrecked by the Atlantic storms so a shortened pier was built in the mid 1870’s. This too did not stand up to the rough sea and was dismantled in 1880. It stood in front of where Pier House is today. At low tide you can still see the rusty metal stumps of the pier. More…
1871 – Nelson Terrace
Numbers 5 & 6 were built. The last two houses were completed later in the decade. More….
1874 – The Priory
was built. Home to Reverend Isaac Gosset who was the founder member of the Golf Club. The Priory is now flats.
1874 – The United Services College
opend. Rudyard Kipling attended between 1878-82. The College eventually transferred to Windsor. Today it is known as Kipling Terrace. More…
1875 – Patio Pool
was built. It was later renamed The Lido and became a popular outdoor swimming pool which had pumped seawater. It was demolished along with Nassau House in the 1990’s and Nassau Court was built on the site.
1875 – The Union Club
was built on what is now the beach near the slipway. It was moved brick-by-brick to its present location in Atlantic Way in 1879-80 following rapid erosion from the sea. There is a fine plasterwork above the door. It is known today as Atlantic Flatlets. More…
1878 – Ferndale Villa
was built, in gothic style. In later years it became known as The Ship Public House. It became derelict and was renovated in 2005 to apartments and now back to its original name of Ferndale.
1878 – The pebbleridge was breached
…. by the sea and 100 acres of the Burrows inundated. The piles recently put in at a cost of £600 were torn up.
1879 – Buckleigh Junior School
was established by the United Services College in a private house in Buckleigh. More…. The Buckleigh site was acquired by Pontins in 1947 and became ‘The Buckleigh Place Country Club’, a small 6 acre site able to accommodate 75 guests, consisting of a 19th Century Manor House until the 1960’s. The site was sold again in 1975 to property developers. Part of the buildings were knocked down including the ballroom (old school hall) and kitchen area. Two blocks of flats were built on the site. The dormitories were converted into holiday accommodation, were again converted into permanent accommodation. Houses and bungalows were built on the site. The original sports ground site became the putting green/mini golf course during the holiday camp days and the tennis courts were kept and used for guests and a swimming pool was built. After the property was sold in 1975 it was re-built beyond all recognition, only the swimming pool remains. The old Manor House (Buckleigh Grange) was demolished in 2007 and houses were built on the site.
1880 – Navarino Cottage
was built. Named Navarino after the Battle of Navarino (1827) by a Mr Jonathon Henderson who was one of the heroes of the battle, serving as 2nd class boy on the Genoa. The cottage still stands today, to the rear of Westbourne Terrace.
1881 – Link House
was built by a devotee of golf. In 1967 the property was demolished to make way for flats and in 1985 a second phase was completed. More…
1881 – Springfield Terrace
was built, a row of small fisherman’s cottages, some were shops.
1881 – The Pebbleridge
was breached and some houses in Westbourne Terrace were said to be ‘untenantable’ due to the constant flooding.
1882 – Cleveland Terrace
was built. A block of seven houses, originally Kingsley College, a boys private school. There were livery stables opposite which are now known as Bracken House.
1882 – Kingsley Hall
was built as a Gymnasium for the Kingsley Memorial College.It was used by the boys from Highgate School who were evacuated there during WW2. In the late 1930’s Miss Butterfield started a private school for 4-11 year olds. Today it is the village hall.
1882 – The Kingsley Memorial College
was formerly opened by the Earl of Portsmouth.
1882 – Kingsley College
Two terraces were built joined with the addition of a steep-roofed building. It became Kingsley College for Sons of Noblemen and Gentlemen. Today it is flats.
1885 – Merley House
was built by George M F Molesworth. It was used as a private house until WW2 when it was used as a base for soldiers.In 1946 it was purchased by a local hotel operator who renamed it Merley Hotel. In 1959 it changed its name to The Elizabethan Club and Restaurant after being bought by the Braddick family in 1951. The building was modernised in 2011 and renamed Pier House.
1885 – Seafield House
was built for an Irish banker named Brinsley DeCourcey Nixon. In 1950 the house was sold and became a guest house. It then became a private dwelling. It is a well-known house in Westward Ho! and often referred to as “Spooky House” or “The Haunted House” and can be found as the last house in the west of the resort perched above the cliffs. More…
1888 – Golf Club
A new Golf Club was built on Westward Ho! Links.
1890 – Ennisfarne House
was built.It was originally called “Roslyn” and was situated along the seaward side of Merley Road. After the war it became holiday flats. It was demolished in 1998 and holiday caravans stand on the site today.
1893 – Buckleigh Laundry
was founded, to serve the large private houses emerging from the resort. In 1994 Buckleigh was destroyed by fire, demolished, re-designed and re-built and is now going strong once again.
1895 – The Baptist Church
was built. Appledore builder Mr. Tamlyn built the church at a cost of approx £250 excluding furniture. The first service was held on 10th August 1895 and was attended by over 100 people. In 2011 a new Baptist Church was built and the old one was redeveloped for housing.
1900 – Beacon Lights
was built. It later became The Nelson Inn and was demolished in 2006. Hamilton Court was built on the site. More…
1900 – The Golden Bay Tea Rooms
was built next to the hotel. This building later became The Anchor Inn. It was demolished with the hotel in 2000.
1901 – Railway
The Bideford Westward Ho! Railway opened. The first section ran from Bideford Quay to Westward Ho! It was later extended to include Appledore. The railway was open for only 16 years and was closed in March 1917.
1901 – Railway Station
The Railway Station and its ‘Entertainments Hall’ were built. The station was situated at the top of the village green and later became the Bus Station. The entertainments hall later became the Buccanear pub which was demolished in 2008. The Blue and Green restaurant along with the new development called Latitude 51 stand where the railway station was located.
1904 – United Services College
left Westward Ho! and the building became Kipling College, named after Rudyard Kipling who attended there 1878-82. More…
1908 – Railway
The Bideford-Westward Ho! Railway line was extended to Appledore at a cost of £10,000. More…
1914 – Arrests
At Ilfracombe, Lynton and Westward Ho! 14 German and Austrian waiters and musicians were arrested as enemy aliens.
1920 – The Octagon
Approx year of appearance on the corner of Golf Links Road nearest the sea wall. More….
1922 – Shebberton Racecourse
The first race meeting on the brand new course. The racecourse was positioned in the small valley near Abbotsham Court, the track running close to the cliff edge at Cornborough. More…
1923 – Torridge House
was opened as a guest house. It was a popular guest house for many years until it closed in 1982. Today it is dwellings and known as Kingsley Court. More…
1928 – Sea Wall
The first stone of the new sea wall was laid.
1931 – Sea Wall
The last section of the sea wall was completed.
1938 – Kipling Tors
was taken over by the National Trust as a memorial to Rudyard Kipling who attended school at Westward Ho!
1938 – The Dormy Hotel
was built. It was later renamed The Atlanta Hotel. It was situated along Golf Links Road near the entrance to the Golf Club. On 8th January 1970 it was destroyed by fire. It was never rebuilt and the site remains empty to this day.
1939 – Top Camp
Top Camp Holiday Centre opened. It was built by Woolaway, Albert Moon being the architect and designer. It was demolished in the 1980’s to make way for new houses. Armada Way, Pelican Close, Drake Close and Dudley Way are situated where Top Camp once stood.
1940 – Local Defence Volunteers
In Bideford 1800 men answered the Prime Ministers call for Local Defence Volunteers, later renamed the Home Guard. Their first weapons were rifles borrowed from a school that had been evacuated to Westward Ho!
1942 – Memorial
A memorial tablet was dedicated by the Holy Trinity Church commemorating the 141 Old Boys of The United Services College who gave their lives in the First World War.
1956 – Miniature Railway
A plan was announced to build a ‘miniature pocket railway’ along the old line of the Bideford-Westward Ho! railway. This never happened.
1962 – Bailey Bridge
The Bailey Bridge that crossed the pebble ridge was removed by the army.
1974 – Damaged Ridge
The pebble ridge was damaged by the sea and pebble filled cages were used to rebuild it.
1976 – Fire
A large section of Kipling Tors caught fire and burned down following a very hot and dry summer.
1982 – Skating Rink
The Tyrollean Skating Rink was built on the site of the old railway station. It was a skating rink for 4 or 5 years, became an amusements hall/nightclub for a few years then closed down. It stayed derelict for a number of years and was eventually demolished in 2005.