Image House – Bunbury.

On the outskirts of the small village of Bunbury in the county of Cheshire and situated by the side of the A49 Whitchurch road can be found a small cottage with an intriguing story. It is said that this cottage was built on common land using squatters rights, this would mean the house would have to have been built in twenty four hours and smoke would have to be seen coming from the chimmney by morning.

It is assumed that this was achieved and witnessed by the relevant authorities as the house was allowed to remain standing. The householders name was a Seth Shone, it is not known whether he was responsible for the construction of the cottage, but what we do know is that he was wrongly convicted of poaching, perhaps this miscarriage of justice was due to Seth building his cottage and getting one over on the authorities?

Seth Shone was deported to Australia where he served eight years for his alleged crime. Upon his return to England he set about carving stone faces of the people who had wrongly accused him, the Bailiff, Judge, Gamekeeper and the Jury who wrongly sentenced him.

It is said that Seth cursed all the stone faces and placed them on the exterior of the cottage where some can still be seen to this day. Seth also made a stone face which represented the Devil in the hope that the curse remained. In the past the cottage would have been covered in ivy, however these days no ivy is present and some of the stone heads have been incorporated into the porch of the cottage as can be seen from these photographs.

In the past the house was written about by the Authoress Beatrice Tunstall in her novel, “Shiny Night” and was known in the story as “Clock Abbot”.

It is not known whether the curse that Seth Shone placed on the people who wrongly accused him by using the stone faces was successful, however the stone faces that now greet you when you knock on the door have an unnerving quality about them and I feel people do not linger to long outside this strange house!

11 Responses to “Image House – Bunbury.”

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  5. i love this house ,so much.

  6. Great blog, we have this book in our family ,although I haven’t read it ! If family stories are true we are also related to the “real ” Seth via my grandmother who’s maiden name was Vickers. As a child we even had Sunday afternoon drives past the house! You have spurred me on to trace back a little further in my family tree and read the book !

  7. ‘I feel people do not linger to long outside this strange house!’ thanks! after living there 20 years I certainly never encountered anything, but I did find the book interesting, we had a original copy shipped all the way from america, little hard to read though.

  8. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s I knew a Mr and Mrs Frank Matthews who lived here. He worked for my Dad. We lived in Spurstow and Frank was also our regular babysitter. They never had children and I visited Image House often. A very kind couple who had 2 big Alsatians in a massive cage out the back door, they barked for England. I loved visiting the house so tiny with always a roaring fire. I wonder what happened to them.

  9. Mr and Mrs Matthews only rented Image house in the 60s, only knew of a cleaner called Margaret that visits the house

  10. Image house is now on the market some lucky persons will buy this beautiful house it is stunningly beautiful

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