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

Alison Wilson (4 months ago)
Only had 2.5 hours to explore - nowhere near enough. Easily a full day's outing, especially if you like to find a quiet corner to sit and stare for a while. Lots to see, both indoors and out. Visited 1st January and surprised to see swathes of early daffodils and spectacular rhododendrons in full flush. Must be a micro climate - sheltered by magnificent trees.
Lazarus (5 months ago)
The summer home of Queen Victoria is worth a visit if you like looking around statly homes. The restoration work is constant here, but the work to date has really brought the splendour. back to the place. Easy to get to from Cowes and parking is plentiful. It was worth the visit, though the four-legged friend is limited the grounds only, so this may cause an issue for those who cannot leave the dog with someone.
Canny Viking (5 months ago)
Although it was not completely open what we saw was superb. The house guides made the visit magical. Every volunteer made us feel so welcome. Certainly we will return when fully open. Hope the severe storm damage to the beach area can be repaired in time for next years reopening date. We missed not being able to walked down. Thumbs up to the staff at the cafe by the house they cope magnificently when a surge of visitors arrived. Your cream teas were mouthwatering. Thanks to all for a great visit.
Anita Manka (7 months ago)
So interesting. What a beautiful place to visit. Well worth the price. We explored the grounds and house for over 5 hours and still could have stayed longer. Beautiful gardens at any time of the year. A chance to look into the lives of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and their much loved , welcoming family home with their nine children.
Andy & Debbie Melvin (7 months ago)
We had a great day, we walked a lot and learned a lot too. The staff were all friendly and helpful. There were plenty of places to have a drink and a cake. There were also a good number of well spaced out toilets on the site. You do feel you are walking in history.
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