Address: York Avenue, East Cowes PO32 6JX

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Phone: +44 (0) 370 333 1181

 

Osborne House History

Osborne House was the much loved private residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and after Albert’s death a refuge for the Queen herself.

In 1705, the estate was acquired by the Blachford family and this was developed by Robert Pope Blachford in the late 18th century.

To escape the pressures of London life, the Queen and her husband were looking for a suitable retreat. The estate was owned by Lady Isabella Blachford and was leased to the royal couple, having been recommended to them by Prime Minister Robert Peel.

In 1845, they bought the estate and, following the advice of eminent builder Thomas Cubitt, demolished it and built a new mansion to their own design. As with a host of projects, Albert was a driving force. When Albert died in 1861, much of the new estate was built, but there was still a large degree of building work to do. This was to accommodate guests, servants as well as additional members of the royal household.

In later years it had very much become Victoria’s home and when she died in 1901, the estate passed on to her successor, Edward VII. The King didn’t have a need for it and as no other royal would take on the upkeep, in 1902 the house was given to the nation.

Buildings in the grounds were used by the Naval College until 1933, but the house wasn’t touched, in fact Victoria and Albert’s private rooms had remained sealed since her death in 1901. In 1954, the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth gave permission for these rooms to be opened to the public.

By 1986, English Heritage had taken over the management of Osborne House and in 2012 the Queen’s private beach was also opened to the public. In 2014 English Heritage completed a £1.65m project at the site.

Today, the House, sitting near East Cowes at the north tip of the Isle of Wight, is open to the public.

 

Osborne House Visit

Located on the Isle of Wight, Osborne House is the ideal landmark to visit on a trip to the island, or, if it was the specific reason for travelling over, gives you the ideal opportunity for exploring the rest of the island, once you’ve seen the house.
 
It’s only a mile from East Cowes, so convenient from the ferry, and reasonably close too from the other ferry ports of Fishbourne (4 miles) and Ryde (7 miles).
 
A trip here can provide a fantastic day out, certainly if the weather is good. Apart from the grand state rooms inside, there are also the magnificent gardens, the Swiss Cottage, the Osborne House beach, the restaurant, café, gift shop, playgrounds, trails and walks and the museum.
 
Opening times are generally 10.00 to 18.00 in summer, with closing times being earlier from October. The site is open all year, but closes during certain weekdays over the winter.

Events are often held here and the website gives full details.