The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Parkham Wood House, Brixham, Devon

40 Buildings Saved

23. Parkham Wood House, Brixham, Devon

Status: Listed Grade II
Architect: Mervyn Seal
Owners: Private home
Location: Brixham, Devon


This house, designed by Mervyn Seal in 1960, is widely considered to be the Devon architect’s finest work. Located in Brixham on a cliff face with great sea views, the three-bedroomed house has extensive glazing and a distinctive ‘Butterfly’ profile: one of four similar Seal houses in the Torbay area and a building that nods to both Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier.


Although a fine example of English modern domestic architecture, being far away from the centre of media attention in London, Parkham Wood House might easily have slipped off the radar. Because of his south-western location, Seal never gained true recognition for his high-quality work and similar houses have been substantially altered as well as demolished.


Parkham Wood House fortunately had sympathetic owners, but the C20 Society also helped by making a submission to Historic England to recognise the house as a significant piece of post-war domestic architecture.


Recently described by C20 as “a remarkable achievement”, Parkham Wood House was Grade II listed in 2009 and, having recently changed hands, is now owned by members of C20.

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