Clifton House Mystery: DVD

Saturday, 27 February 2010 10:24

An old woman’s possessions are auctioned, and orchestral conductor Timothy Clare and his family move into her large, though rather gloomy and dilapidated, old house in Bristol. It soon becomes clear that this is a house full of secrets, and that Mrs Betterton has good reason to leave with her young granddaughter, the ethereal, otherworldly Emily. After a series of frightening experiences and disturbing discoveries, including a walled-up room containing a skeleton, the Clares realise that they are not the only occupants. Unearthly presences inhabit the house, and the family must find a way to lay the ghosts to rest if they are ever to find peace there.

Eerie special effects, a twisting plot and a highly atmospheric setting make for spine-tingling drama in this memorable six-part series from HTV. The Clifton House Mystery features Peter Sallis as Milton Guest, who becomes convinced that a ghost connected with the Bristol Riots of 1831 is haunting the house.

Clifton House Mystery DVDAfter checking local records, dragoon commander called George Bretherton is suspected - who was court-martialled for his lenient handling of the rioters, and subsequently disappeared without trace.

First screened between 8 October and 12 November 1978, the complete series is now available from Network for the very first time on DVD. A compilation version has been out on VHS before, way back in 1980, and it appeared on The Children’s Channel way back in the early days of satellite around 1992.

The video recordings here present are a little ropey for a production of its age, but eminently watchable.  What the series proves, much like the recent low-budget “Paranormal Activity” movie, is that script, setting and performance can make up for the lack of financial resources available to a production. The children are very believable, and don’t grate at all – the greatest credit you can pass is that you actually forget they are kids!

The story is written by Daniel Farson and Harry Moore, produced by Patrick Dromgoole and directed by Hugh David. The six part series has a running time of approx 150 minutes, a ‘PG’ certificate, and a RRP £14.99, or less from


Series Details


Executive Producer: Patrick Dromgoole

Produced by Leonard White

Directors: Hugh David (1, 2), Jeffrey Milland (3, 5), Terry Miller (4, 6)

Written by Harry Moore and Daniel Farson

Music Played by Kenneth Mobbs

Music Adviser: Sidney Sager

Designed by Ken Jones


Cast List


Peter Sallis as Milton Guest

Sebastian Breaks as Timothy Clare

Ingrid Hafner as Sheila Clare

Amanda Kirby as Jenny

Joshua Le Touzel as Steven

Robert Morgan as Ben

Margery Withers as Mrs Betterton

Michelle Martin as Emily

Donald Morley as Mr Hovell

Margot Boyd as Mrs Hessey

Ann Way as Mrs Rowley

Douglas Coates as Mr Williamson

Oscar Quitak as John G Spangler

Olga Lowe as Myrna Spangler

June Barrie as Mrs Bond

Daphne Neville as Miss Frisby

Jenny Cryst as Miss Protheroe

Richard Owens as Clifford

Paul Nicholson as Auction Clerk

Derek Graham as Officer

Elizabeth Havelock as The Lady

Tim Hooper as Knight

Richard Wyatt (HTV’s Report West) as Himself


Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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