A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Monday, 23 July 2018
Isle of Wight - Day 4, Monday, 9th July - Part 1: Inside Osborne House
On Monday it was slightly cooler (28 degrees) although still far too hot for me - I prefer the low twenties! We decided on a visit to Osborne House near Cowes - the house interior is superb and the gardens and grounds extensive.
The Osborne Estate on the Isle of Wight was bought by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1845. A private family home was built by Cubitt so that they could relax away from court life in London and Windsor.
The house has an Italianate design which came to be called "The Osborne Style" and was widely copied. The couple furnished the rooms to their own personal taste and Albert created designs for the planting of the grounds.
Queen Victoria regularly visited Osborne for over 50 years and she used it to entertain ministers, foreign royalty and her family. She continued to visit after Albert's death in 1861 and further changes were made including the building of the beautiful Dunbar room in the late 19th century which was filled with Indian artefacts and designs to represent her title as "Empress of India". She died at Osborne House in 1901 and in 1904 the house was partially opened to the public. At one time part of the house was used as a convalescent home and there was a Royal Naval College in the grounds but both of these have now closed.
Influential members of the Queen's household included : her Highland Servant John Brown, Henry Ponsonby her Private Secretary from 1870 to 1895 and Abdul Karim her Indian Secretary during the 1880's. English Heritage took over the management of the estate and house in 1986.
We decided to visit the interior of the house first before it became too hot. There are a lot of photos - some better than others (light was low in places and I had to bump up the ISO quite a lot) - on the two previous occasions we have visited photos were not allowed. I didn't get photos of all the rooms - taking pictures was also difficult because of the large number of people and school parties looking round. The three features that have always remained in my mind are the stunning ceilings, the beautiful marble in the Grand Corridor and the stunning Dunbar Room but the whole house is just full of historical interest.
I know this is a rubbish photo but I have included it as I love the words - so apt in view of the hot weather we were experiencing!
The Grand Corridor which links the household and main wings and Queen Victoria's private rooms. It was designed in the style of a classical sculpture gallery.
Just one photo of the gorgeous marble.
The Council Room where the Queen's Privy Council and ministers met several times a year. In 1857 Queen Victoria gave Albert the title of "Prince Consort" in this room. The room was also used for entertaining, for example, dancing, charades and drama.
The Audience Room where the Queen received her ministers. The chandelier contains convolvulus (Prince Albert's favourite flower) and arum lilies.
One of the staircases
A return to the Grand Corridor where Queen Victoria exercised when the weather was inclement.
The Dining Room, Drawing and Billiard Rooms are the main reception rooms in The Pavilion part of the house. All are furnished and decorated lavishly and the stunning ceilings contain designs by Gruner and have been restored by English Heritage.
The Dining Room
Dinner would be served at 8.00 p.m. Family portraits line the walls. The wedding of Princess Alice to Prince Louis of Hesse took place here in 1862 and Queen Victoria's body lay in state here in 1901 before being taken to Windsor.
The Drawing Room described by Queen Victoria in 1846 as "extremely handsome with its yellow damask satin curtains and furniture to match" The room was restored in 2003. After dinner the Queen would use the room to sing and play at the piano or play cards. Famous musicians often gave recitals here.
The Billiard Room - men often withdrew here in the evening to play billiards - the Queen would also sometimes play billiards in the daytime with members of her household.
Time to mount the stairs to the second floor for the Royal Nurseries.
Here I spotted the rest of the family coming back down - their tour was complete! None of them sadly share my love of historic houses.
The Royal Nursery Suite which was immediately above the Queen and Prince's rooms allowing them to see their children easily.
Views from the windows - sorry the first is over exposed - I forgot to lower the ISO.
The Grand Staircase based on the design of the stairs at Claremont House where Victoria's uncle Leopold lived.
The painting is the allegorical Fresco "Neptune Resigning the Empire of the Seas to Britannia" symbolising Britain's supremacy as a world power. The painting is by William Dyce.
I didn't get too many photos (you will probably be glad to hear!) of the Queen and Prince's private rooms - it was too dark
Prince Consort's Dressing and Living Room
Queen Victoria's Sitting Room
and her bedroom where she died on 22nd January, 1901.
Back down the stairs to the Dunbar Corridor and
Dunbar Room - here the decoration was inspired by architecture traditional to North India.
The beautiful peacock above the the fireplace was suggested by Princess Beatrice
I could have spent many more hours in the house but it was time to leave in search of the others.
Photos all taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330
Reference: English Heritage Guide book to Osborne
Part 2 will include a trip to the Swiss Cottage and a look around the Walled Garden followed by a ghost walk in the evening.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.