Westward Ho! - 'Golf Links Road'

Simon Groves

Barnstaple, United Kingdom

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Wall Art

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Artist's Description

Westward Ho!
(North Devon, England, UK.)

The village name comes from the title of Charles Kingsley’s novel Westward Ho! (1855), which was set in nearby Bideford. The book was a bestseller, and entrepreneurs saw the opportunity to develop tourism in the area. The Northam Burrows Hotel and Villa Building Company, chaired by Lord Portsmouth, was formed in 1863, and its prospectus stated:

“This Company has been formed for the erection of a Family Hotel, on an Estate purchased for the purpose immediately contiguous to Northam Burrows, and of Villas and Lodging Houses for Sale or Lease. The want of such accommodation has long been felt, and as no attempt to supply it has hitherto been made by individuals, it is deemed to be a legitimate project to be undertaken by a Company. The salubrity and beauty of the North of Devon have long been known and appreciated. Sir James Clark has placed it in the highest position for health-giving qualities; and the recent publication of Professor Kingsley’s “Westward Ho” has excited increased public attention to the western part, more especially, of this romantic and beautiful coast. Nothing but a want of accommodation for visitors has hitherto prevented its being the resort of families seeking the advantages of sea bathing, combined with the invigorating breezes of the Atlantic…."

The hotel was named the Westward Ho! Hotel, and the adjacent villas were also named after the book. As further development took place, it also acquired the name of Westward Ho!12 The exclamation mark is therefore an intentional part of the village’s name. It is the only such place name in the British Isles,3 although Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, Quebec, shares the distinction of having an exclamation mark in its name.

The Links Golf course in Westward Ho! which also gives rise to the name of the major artery road “Golf Links Road” is the oldest golf course of it’s type in England and Wales. (In fact Links courses are the oldest type of golf course..and this is the oldest of those.)

HDR ~ the HDR is hand-done. This entailed using around 6 layers of different tones for the background; adjusting each, in tone and colour to match with the layers either side. Each layer was then stitched together using an eraser tool.

Artwork Comments

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