ARTIST Damien Hirst has been offered the chance to take over a former hotel in Ilfracombe.
Tucked away in a far corner of the town, Langleigh Park House has been owned by Joan and Terry Alford since 1983.
But the time has come for Joan, 75, and Terry, 77, to part with the house they ran as a hotel for the best part of 30 years, and it will soon be going up for sale.
After retiring in 2007 the pair continued to live at Langleigh Park House on their own, but feel the maintenance has become too much.
“We are like two peas in a bucket,” said Joan.
She has approached the council and even written to Damien Hirst to see if he would be interested in taking the property on.
The hotel, which has housed an eclectic mix of guests, including a ghost, will soon be available to new owners.
“It is a way of life here,” said Joan. “You can walk into town in 10 minutes, but at the same time it is so secluded up here.
“Guests say they have had the best night’s sleep here because it is so quiet.”
Set in 14 acres of woodland, the house has 12 bedrooms, eight bathrooms and a bar.
Joan and Terry claim Langleigh Park House is the only remaining purpose-built hotel in Ilfracombe, having been erected in 1897.
“We didn’t want to pack our guests in at the hotel,” said Joan. “We wanted to enjoy living here so we kept it quite low key.”
Joan and Terry said they had some particularly exuberant guests over the years, including one couple who managed to leave their son behind.
“I heard a noise in the living room and there was this boy sat in the chair watching TV,” said Joan. “I told him his parents had gone and he thought I was joking.”
Joan and Terry moved down to Ilfracombe in 1983 from Dunstable and said they could not imagine living anywhere else now.
“It has been hard work, but we’ve enjoyed it,” they said.
Joan said if anyone was interested in the house they were more than welcome to visit for a look around and a cup of tea.
She can be contacted on 012271 862158.
The Journal tried to contact Mr Hirst for a comment but his PR team was unavailable.