OSBORNE, a mansion and estate in the Isle of Wight, England, S.E. of the town of East Cowes. The name of the manor in early times is quoted as Austerborne or Oysterborne, and the estate comprised about 2000 acres when, in 1845, it was purchased from Lady Isabella Blackford by Queen Victoria. The queen subsequently extended the estate to nearly 3000 acres, and a mansion, in simple Palladian style, was built from designs of Mr T. Cubitt. Here the queen died in 1901, and by a letter, dated Coronation Day 1902, King Edward VII. presented the property to the nation. By his desire part of the house was transformed into a convalescent home for officers of the navy and army, opened in 1904.
In 1903 there was opened on the Osborne estate a Royal Naval College. The principal buildings lie near the Prince of Wales's Gate, the former royal stables being adapted to use as class-rooms, a mess-room, and other apartments, while certain adjacent buildings were also adapted, and a gymnasium and a series of bungalows to serve as dormitories, each accommodating thirty boys, were erected, together with quarters for officers, and for an attached body of marines. By the river Medina, on the Kingsdown portion of the estate, a machine shop and facilities for boating are provided.
At the church of St Mildred, Whippingham, 12 m. S.S.E. of East Cowes, there are memorials to various members of the royal family.
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This page was last modified 29-SEP-18
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