About the Seabank Hotel


The Seabank Hotel in 1860

First, let us tell you about the building and the town itself. Around 1860, the building was known as the New House and erected by George Derent who was the builder responsible for John Street.

Around 1870 a larger house was built on the site and called "The Seaview Bank", but when the Brogden family bought the property, John Brogden crossed out the word "View" and it became known as the "Sea Bank House". John Brogden and his family were the creators of our town in the middle years of the 19th century and his name is perpetuated in John Street in the town. His son, James, carried on his father's work and married Mary Caroline Beete, a relative of General Picton, who was one of Wellington's aides at Waterloo, 1815. Mary Street is named after her. Caroline Street was changed to Esplanade. Avenue when the Esplanade was created in 1887 to honour Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. James' name was given to James Street and the family name is perpetuated in the Inn on New Road and their family tomb in the parish churchyard at Newton.

Around 1890, the family fortunes collapsed with the closing of the commercial harbour early last century and the house became a boys boarding school, Porthcawl College, under the Headship of Rev. E.J. Newell, MA of Oxford University.

Around 1907, Seabank House was bought as a private residence by John Elias.

The Seabank Hotel in 1900 The Seabank Hotel in 1920 The Seabank Hotel in 1925 The Seabank Hotel in 1925

Around 1930's, the hotel was called "Seabank Hydro" with a modern concrete façade. In all earlier photographs, the distinctive Italianate tower can always be seen.

Around the 1940's, the Seabank Hotel was occupied by the military authorities and troops under training in the town were billeted here. The 49th (West Riding) Reconnaissance Regiment was formed here in 1942 and they became spearhead of the invasion troops in France and Netherlands in 1944 and 1945. The regiment was disbanded in 1946 and the local museum has a collection of their memorabilia.

The Seabank Hotel in 1933 The Seabank Hotel in 1935 The Seabank Hotel in 1938 The Seabank Hotel in 1950

Around 1943, American Troops of the 107 Field Artillery Battalion, part of the 28th Infantry Division were stationed here and inspected by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Around 1944 the 75th US Infantry Division was stationed here and after training, moved to France where they suffered heavy losses in the fighting in the Battle of the Bulge in 1945.

Around 1945, the Seabank Hotel slowly returned to peacetime use and refurbished - the roofline was added but had different coloured tiling and then the hotel, again, became an integral part of the town.

Around the 1960's, the photographs (in the reception area) show differences in the detail of the hotel and particularly in the façade. The roof colouring changed, the tennis courts and lock up garage at the rear disappeared and the modernised hotel has become a familiar landmark on the new promenade of the 1990's, as the earlier Seabank House was a century earlier.

The Seabank Hotel present day

Within a mile of our hotel, we have the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, renamed "Royal" since the Duke of Windsor played there in the 1920's. It is a formidable course for those of you who enjoy a challenge on the links!

Porthcawl itself is conveniently situated between Cardiff, our capital city renowned for its distinctive Civic Centre and castle, and Swansea the gateway to Gower Peninsula.

We hope you enjoy your visit to both the Seabank Hotel and Porthcawl. Should you require any further assistance, please have no hesitation in contacting the Management Team. We look forward to meeting you.

The Management Team