Wish You Were Here? Former beachfront home of legendary Pink Floyd manager on the market in Sussex for £3.5m

Beauty Point is a beachfront property in West Wittering (Beauty Point)
Beauty Point is a beachfront property in West Wittering (Beauty Point)

In the black and white music video for Arnold Layne, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Syd Barrett, Nick Mason and Rick Wright galivant around West Wittering beach dressed in hats, scarves and winter coats.

They are joined by an additional band member: a shop-window mannequin which is carried to the waves, dismembered in the sand, and hoisted funereally onto the shoulders of the band.

The video, Pink Floyd’s first, was filmed in a single winter’s day in 1967.

On that same stretch of West Wittering beach is the former home of Pink Floyd’s legendary manager, Steve O’Rourke: a one-storey, five-bedroom beachfront house clad in grey clapboard and built around two 19th-century railway carriages.

Pink Floyd's music video for Arnold Layne, filmed on West Wittering beach

For those eager to claim a piece of rock history, the house is being listed for sale for £3.5 million.

O’Rourke became Pink Floyd’s manager in 1968, after the departure of Syd Barrett. He is credited as having guided the band through its meteoric rise to fame, protecting its image and prioritising creativity and artistic integrity.

Beauty Point was O’Rourke’s long-term home.

While he managed Pink Floyd, it served as a hub for the band and their contemporaries, where they would hold impromptu jam sessions. As a result, the property was known locally as “The Pink House”, says the current owner.

The bright kitchen-dining area of Beauty Point (Rita Platts)
The bright kitchen-dining area of Beauty Point (Rita Platts)

O’Rourke wasn’t the only rocker to settle in West Sussex. Keith Richards bought Redlands, his legendary Grade II-listed country estate, in 1966, which he continues to use as a UK base. Drummer Nick Mason grew up at nearby Dell Quay —the band filmed the Arnold Layne music video at West Wittering because they could stay there afterwards— while David Gilmour, who joined Pink Floyd in 1967, lives in Wisborough Green.

O’Rourke died in 2003. “Given that there is never enough credit to go around with the vast cast of egomaniacs that accumulate with a band it is unlikely that Steve’s contribution would ever be properly recognised,” wrote Nick Mason in his autobiography. “I was devastated to realise just how much of my life was shared with Steve, and how irreplaceable he is.”

In 1997, the house was sold for £162,000 to garden designer Elsebeth Gatacre and her husband Thomas. “‘From the outside, it was just an ordinary bungalow,” Gatacre told Coast magazine. “But from the moment I stepped inside and saw the gorgeous railway carriages it had been built around, I was captivated.

“I stood there awestruck, thinking that it was the most magical place. The carriages still had their original windows, canvas roofs, mahogany floors and even chunky brass handles. I knew immediately that this was the place for us.”

Another bar sits in one of the old railway carriages (Rita Platts)
Another bar sits in one of the old railway carriages (Rita Platts)

Gatacre gave the house an expensive makeover, forming much of the bright, clean aesthetic that it retains today. It still has a white colour scheme, with bleached pine floors and sash windows.

The ground floor, which houses three of the bedrooms inside the former rail carriages, has an open plan kitchen diner leading out to the garden, and a reception room with a “railway carriage bar”.

Upstairs, there are two further bedrooms, an office —with an extra bed— and a TV living room. A large roof deck looks out over the beach.

Since 2014, the house has been the seaside retreat of a film and TV producer.

Three of the bedrooms are inside former train carriages (Rita Platts)
Three of the bedrooms are inside former train carriages (Rita Platts)

“The house was love at first sight,” says the producer, who viewed it on a wet, windy day. “We heard about it at a party, looked it up later that night and drove down to see it the very next day. We then had a nail-biting few weeks until we were sure we were able to become the prevailing buyers, as it was a rather competitive situation.”

Initially, he used Beauty Point as a holiday home, before making it his main residence more recently. It was also rented out as a holiday let, starting at £720 per night. “We used this house as a regular escape from London life and a creative seascape from which to write, connect as a family and rejuvenate”, he says.

Covering around 3,000 sq ft, the house can sleep up to 11 guests. “The train carriage bedrooms are so special. Little nests all side by side,” says the owner. “Plenty of giggly ‘good night John Boy’ moments through the carriage walls.”

The house also has a fire pit and leads directly onto the beach (Rita Platts)
The house also has a fire pit and leads directly onto the beach (Rita Platts)

He made further upgrades to the property, turning a covered store into a sauna and art studio. Outdoors, he added a hot tub and firepit, while there is also an al fresco bar crafted from an old boat, and an al fresco dining area.

“The best thing we did was install the wooden hot tub,” he says. “It has been the place where everyone sits and chats, day or night, winter or summer. A late-night brandy in a balloon glass warmed by the water is a decadent pleasure we have discovered and feels in keeping with the spirit of the house.”

Now that his children have grown up, he has put the house up for sale. It will be listed with Savills in June for £3.5 million. “This house definitely has a creative soul,” he says. “It’s time for the house to be enjoyed by the next generation of lucky owners.”