Saturday, November 19, 2011

Houses with secrets...

I've been on the south coast for the last two weeks visiting my parents. This part of the country tends to get the best weather in the UK anyway, but for the last few weeks they've had particularly unseasonably warm weather, with highs of 15c and lots of sunshine, perfect weather for winter walks and a good opportunity for me to show you some of the sights at the other end of the country from where I'm normally based.


This morning we headed east along the coast, and took a walk along Selsey seafront. Many of the houses on this stretch hide a fascinating secret. After the First World War when housing stock was in short supply, surplus railway carriages were used as housing. The idea spread in popularity and hundreds ended up along the south coast as holiday homes. The carriages were originally purchased from the Brighton Railway Company for as little as £10 each and sometimes as many as five were used to form accommodation in an H shape layout.

Selsey train carriage house

Over time modern facades have grown up around the old trains, but with a keen eye you can still spot signs of their existence. Houses with a single story and wide frontage are nearly always built from carriages and you can still see the original windows and doors amongst the fabric of the new homes.




Some of the houses are pretty rundown...


And others have been beautifully restored to make the most of the original features...

Many of them, like the one above, are available as holiday rentals or B&B accommodation and if you want to buy one, these days they'll cost you anything from £250,000 to £500,000 or more. Not quite the cheap housing solution they were intended as, but undoubtedly wonderfully unique homes!


  1. Wow, I've never (knowingly!) seen any of these - thanks for sharing!

  2. I love when pieces of 'discarded' history are used in such a creative and lovely way! I'd love to stay in one, and just imagine if their walls could talk!!

    I hope you're doing well, and continuing to enjoy your visit!!!


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