Know Britain Osborne House, Isle of Wight, England






A Description of the main Rooms


Architecturally the building conveys an impression of heaviness and may not appeal to all tastes. In fact the building was not congenial to King Edward VII who, just one year after the death of his mother in 1901, handed it over to the nation. Queen Victoria died here 22 January 1901 at the age of 81 having reigned for 63 years.

The visitor approaches the house through a courtyard and; on the right lies the Household Wing and on the left the Durbar Wing added during the years 1890-91 and designed by the father of Rudyard Kipling. Straight ahead lies the Pavilion where the royal apartments are situated.


Osborne House gardens
Osborne House gardens


The corridor

As the visitor enters through the porch in the Household Wing he is pleasantly surprised. After the first impressions created by the heavy and drab exterior of the building he is surprised by the striking contrast of the bright, elaborately decorated walls and ceiling of the corridor. It was designed by Ludwig Grüner from Dresden already known for his work in Buckingham Palace.

The corridor is spacious and is lined with sculptures mainly by 19th century British artists. Among them is John Gibson's " Cupid and Psyche" (1845). There is also C. D. Rauch's "Victory" in marble (see below).


Osborne House C. D. Rauch "Victory" in marble

The Billiard Room and Dining Room

In the main house on the ground floor there are the Billiard Room, the Drawing Room and the Dining Room.

In the Billiard Room the most striking object is the enormous porcelain vase, a gift from the Tsar of Russia. The Drawing Room is characterised by the Corinthian columns and also contains statuettes of Queen Victoria's children created by Mary Thorneycroft. The Dining Room houses a copy of Winterhalter's family portrait of the Queen, the Prince and their children.

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latest update: 1/12/04