Westham House

C Whiteley

Westham House was a C16 timber-framed farmstead before the field enclosures of 1760. It was then enlarged as a hunting lodge.

We know of two sons, Hon Gustavus Lascelles and Hon Desmond Claud Hamilton-Russell both of whom enlisted in the Grenadier Guards and were both killed on active service.

In 1940 the Seaford Ladies College was evacuated from a bombed area of Sussex. Both staff and pupils integrated very well with every aspect of village life. One of the staff, Elsie Winney, became Guide Captain to the Barford troupe.


Memoirs of Mary Winnington. Taken Sunday 25th February 2007.


Maud Workman  used to cook breakfast for the grooms at Westham and Mary would be pushed in her pram along Westham Lane early every morning by her Mother. During the war there was a dug-out air raid shelter on the left just before Westham House. It was very claustrophobic inside being just a deep hole covered with wooded planks  and very upsetting for the young Mary who to this day suffers from Claustrophobia .

Maud Workman would often bake cakes for the convoys of American soldiers who passed along the Wellesbourne  Road. They were very gladly received and  Mary would be lifted onto the lorries and from metal trays would hand them out to the troops.

Seaford Ladies College evacuated to Westham House during the war.The girls would borrow Maud’s bike which she left propped up against the wall. They would leave a note and later Maud would find it returned to the exact same place.

In 1947 Westham House  became a residential college where people from towns were given the chance to study in a rural environment (the so-called “Town & Country Scheme”) but this was not a financial success.

The college extended its brief to a wide range of activities and studies as an Adult Education Centre, attracting students from overseas as well as from many parts of England. Elizabeth Hammond was principal in 1980s. At the end of a long track, it has now been converted into a house, offering B & B, plus 7 apartments.




This page was added on 05/02/2020.

Comments about this page

  • In 1969 I worked as a secretary at Westham House for Captain Frank Owen, at that time the Principal. In the weekends I did some household chores, together with girls from Holland, Finland and France. We went to Stratford-on-Avon to see plays by Shakespeare. I was even a model at a painting course at Westham House. I learned a lot of English, and about life. Once I was back in the Netherlands, I studied English and Ancient History, and became a teacher.

    By Jeannette Drost (17/12/2023)
  • After the war Mr and Mrs Owner were geven the charge of starting the Adult résidentiel college in Westham House and runned it till their retirement in 1980. They dedicated their Life for Westham house and invited foreign young studentes to stay as sort of au-pair in order to help the staff in the Daily house work.I am French and I lived there in 1976 together withe Dutch and Danish girls. It has been a wonderfull year staying at Westham House, lots of music, theater, painting, choies…. So Much culture, and aboie all Mr Mrs Owen were admirable.

    By Veronique Perina (19/08/2023)
  • In 1980 I lived at westam house as a foreign overseas sudent. I loved the way Mrs Elisabeth Hammond hold english courses.

    It was a lovely period of my life

    By Ileana (30/04/2023)
  • My parents lived in Barford in the 1950s and were great friends with Arthur and Maud Workman. I have photos of Maud outside her cottage from that period should you wish to have copies.

    By Jane Nicholas (16/11/2022)

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