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Tourism English Heritage

Osborne House

REF NR: 3491

Queen Victoria had spent many holidays as a young girl on the Isle of Wight, so when she and her husband Prince Albert started to look for a home away from the hassle and bustle of London's Royal duties, she immediately thought of the Island as being very suitable choice.

Osborne house was then a Georgian three storey property which gave lovely views out across the Solent which reminded Albert of the Bay of Naples in Italy thus giving him great pleasure seeing  the continental aspects he used to enjoy here. This thus made up Queen Victoria's mind and she proceeded to purchase the house. Albert took to the house and before long had decided draw up plans to re design and add and rebuild to such an extent that eventually a decision was made to totally pull down what was there and start again with a grand pavillion style building with towers and the necessary household wing for the servants.

The new house and estate was built during 1845 to 1851 in the Italian Renaissance style with the two large towers either side. Prince Albert was assisted in the architectural design by Thomas Cubitt who had already been responsible for the major works at Buckingham Palace's elegant facade. The new residence was completed and filled with many treasures from all over the empire, Queen Victoria loved the place calling it "Her Palace by the Sea"  and after Albert's death retreated to it as often as she could. On her death in 1901, she wished for the Palace to remain in the Royal family's hands but her children were not as attached as he was and eventually Edward VII presented the house as a gift to the country and parts of the palace were then turned into a museum while other parts of the estate were used s a Royal Naval College Osborne.

Today Osborne house is managed by English Heritage and is open to the public and is one of the best place to spend some time looking at the way Victoria and Albert lived. There is plenty of free parking, a very nice shop for buying the little gem of a reminder. Three different catering venues are available throught out the grounds, the Terrace restaurant being a firm favouirte for those that like to be pampered and experience what it must have been like eating 'al la carte' overlooking the Solent in such a  Royal setting.



Contact Details

Osborne House
York Avenue
East Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO32 6JX

Phone: 01983 200022