Osborne House is a former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom. The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat. Prince 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 façade 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 in January 1901. Following her death, the house became surplus to royal requirements and was given to the state, with a few rooms being retained as a private museum to Queen Victoria. Osborne House is open to the public for tours.
The Prince Consort participated directly in the laying out of the estate, gardens and woodlands to prove his knowledge of forestry and landscaping. At the more official royal residences, he had been overruled by the Commissioners of Woods and Forest, who had official responsibilities for the grounds. Below the gardens was a private beach, where the Queen kept her own private bathing machine.
The grounds include a ‘Swiss Cottage.’ The cottage was dismantled and brought piece by piece from Switzerland to Osborne where it was reassembled. There, the royal children were encouraged to garden. Each child was given a rectangular plot in which to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers. They sold their produce to their father. Prince Albert used this as a way to teach the basics of economics. The children also learned to cook in the Swiss Cottage, which was equipped with a fully functioning kitchen. Both parents saw this kind of education as a way of grounding their children in the activities of daily life shared by the people in the kingdom despite their royal status.
In 1859 Prince Albert designed a new and larger quadrangular stable block, which was built by Cubitts on the former cricket pitch. The building is now Grade II* listed.
We had a great time at Osbourne House. The prices in the Cafe are somewhat high and the choices available are limited, but I guess the money they make goes towards the upkeep of this grand old house. There is also a restaurant with waiter service in the grounds if that is what you like, we just used the cafe on this occasion so have no idea of the food quality or pricing.
Parking is Free and there is plenty of it too with the disabled bays being as close to Osbourne House as you can get. There is also a post room so you can send your cards from the House and those important cards will be stamped accordingly.
October 1st -31st open everyday 10-4pm
Nov 1st -31 March open everyday except Mon/ Tues
Summer – Open everyday from 10am – 6pm
Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan
On 18-19 Jul, 25-26 Jul & 4 Aug, the house will close at 3pm (grounds 4pm) for special events
Adult – £10.00
Children – £5.00
Concession – £8.00
English Heritage Members – Free (CLICK HERE TO JOIN)
Family Ticket – £25.00
Adult – £8.40
Concession – £7.20
Child – £4.20
Family ticket – £21.00
Telephone: 01983 200022
Read more: http://www.tourist-information-uk.com/osborne-house.htm#ixzz477zaTaVG