The Old House
The Old House, another grade II listed building, was until recently an antique shop facing the entrance to Pelham Yard. Built in about 1650, it’s known that one of the two original cottages was occupied by Thomas Tufton, the three times bailiff of Seaford, who died in 1712. At the base of the building facing the road there are 2 original 17th & 18th century firebacks.
This house went on to serve as another smugglers’ haunt in the 18th century. There are a number of hidey holes within the building to facilitate evasion from the Excise Men! In the 18th century many locals were involved in the smuggling and goods such as wine and brandy were landed on Seaford beach, and houses such as the Old House were used to conceal the contraband from the prying eyes of the Excise.
You can see a plaque on the side wall giving you more information about this site.
After the Napoleonic wars the Government set up a the Coast Guard Service. Watch houses and cottages were set up as sites such as Cuckmere Haven. Wrecked ships and their cargoes also provided rich pickings for Seaford people. Some set false lights so that ships mistook the dangerous beach for a safe harbour. The wreckers were so notorious they were known as the Seaford “Shags”.
Pass the Old House to The Old Boot pub. It’s worth comparing the flint at the base of the Old House with that at the base of the pub. Give each a tap…
Then continue to the junction and turn right. Opposite the Old Boot’s main entrance is the Old Town Hall.