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History Historic Parks

Northwood Park

REF NR: 233

1. Northwood Park is near the centre of Cowes, Northwood House the world famous yachting centre and home to the annual sailing regatta Cowes week. Northwood House was built by the Ward family in 1837. The beautiful grade II listed Victorian residence is a popular venue for many events including weddings, parties, dinners and conferences. The beautiful parkland and charming private gardens with views overlooking the Solent offer idyllic scenery.

History of Northwood Park
In 1793, George Ward -a London banker - purchased a house known as Bellevue which was on the site of the present Northwood House. After acquiring the neighbouring Debourne Farm in 1798 he had enough land to create a landscape park. By 1817 this was known as Northwood Park and was surrounded by a wall of Bembridge limestone.

Within the park there were pleasure grounds where specimen trees were planted. In 1929, the pleasure gardens were bequeathed to Cowes Urban District Council as "public pleasure grounds for the inhabitants of Cowes".

Since the Second World War, the outer park has been developed. However, the park's boundary is still defined by the stone wall running along Park Road to Debourne Lodge and back along Baring Road. The house and the pleasure gardens are now in the care of Isle of Wight Council.

The Trees of Northwood Park
Many of the fine surviving trees were probably planted in the 1830s or earlier. The south lawns has two London plane trees, a yew, cedar of Lebanon and a holm oak. Cork and Luccombe oaks can be found as well as the more unusual and spectacular Mirbeck's oak.

1. Sources:   and,com_parksandgardens/task,site/id,5336/tab,history/Itemid,292/

2. 1866 Map - refers to Northwood Park

2. Sources: Ordnance Survey 1866 - Map