Osborne House is a former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight. The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat. Albert designed the house himself, in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo. The builder was Thomas Cubitt, the London architect and builder whose company built the main facade of Buckingham Palace for the royal couple in 1847. An earlier smaller house on the site was demolished to make way for a new and far larger house, though the original entrance portico survives as the main gateway to the walled garden.

Queen Victoria died at Osborne House on 22 January 1901. Following her death, King Edward VII, who had never liked Osborne, presented the house to the state on the day of his coronation, with the royal pavilion being retained as a private museum to Victoria. From 1903 to 1921, part of the estate around the stables was used as a junior officer training college for the Royal Navy, known as the Royal Naval College, Osborne. Another section of the house was used as a convalescent home for officers. In 1933, many of the temporary buildings at Osborne were demolished. In 1954, Queen Elizabeth II gave permission for the first floor rooms (the private apartments) in the royal pavilion to be opened to the public. In 1986, English Heritage assumed management of Osborne House. In 1989, the second floor of the house was also opened to the public.

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Founded: 1845-1851
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in United Kingdom

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

chris Evans (9 months ago)
Osbourne house and gardens are excellent to explore and learn some history. We took a walk down to the queen's private beach and once there it has a little cafe and toilets and a beach to explore . With the house only the ground floor was open as it was winter but still lots to see and take in. The staff as ever are very knowledgeable and more than willing to answer any questions you may have. We had some food in the cafe at the entrance and the shop was well stocked with things you would expect of English heritage. One thing tho the car park is strange, very strange as you park at an angle, to the the car in front parks at another angle. Meaning you have no idea how to get out as it looks like a maze.
Sandra Linnane (9 months ago)
Have visited many occasions in the past and thought excellent. Disappointing on this occasion, due to so much being closed off. Understand difficult to maintain one way systems, but the gift shop didn't have a one way system where you could spend your money. Very limited food options for lunch. We will re visit for sure.
Lee “Leahmac” Greene (10 months ago)
Lots of wonderful walks, Immaculately maintained grounds. In winter only the lottery floor is open. The sheer volume of Christmas trees throughout helped make up for the missing floors. The staff are very knowledgeable, informational plaques informative.
DEBBIE SIMMONS (16 months ago)
Excellent visit to the house (only downstairs) and grounds. Had a lovely tea in the terrace cafe. Car parking was difficult even with additional parking places. We finally found a place. Enjoyed the time there.
B Bond (2 years ago)
Lovely setting and walks around the grounds. One of my favourite EH properties.
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