Queen Vic­to­ria’s hide­away re­vealed

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

This evening, af­ter our lit­tle tête-à-tête din­ner, we went out for a lit­tle on the Ter­race, & noth­ing could have been more en­chant­ing,’ wrote Queen Vic­to­ria in her di­ary on June 2, 1850, at Os­borne house on the isle of Wight. ‘The calm sea stretched out be­fore us & in­nu­mer­able birds singing, the only sounds to interrupt the quiet of the place.’ This week, that same pri­vate gar­den ter­race opens to the pub­lic for the first time.

A painstak­ing restora­tion has brought back to life the ital­ianate ter­race, which was an in­te­gral part of Prince Al­bert’s vi­sion for Os­borne as an idyl­lic hide­away away from Court. Vis­i­tors can now en­joy the in­tri­cate Vic­to­rian plant­ing—com­plete with the myr­tle that was a present from Al­bert’s grand­mother, a sprig of which ap­pears in royal bri­dal bou­quets—and the mag­nif­i­cent views of the so­lent that so in­spired Vic­to­ria 150 years ago.

As part of the £600,000 re­fur­bish­ment project, the al­cove where Vic­to­ria sat to paint her wa­ter­colours, which is dec­o­rated with thou­sands of shells, has been re­turned to its orig­i­nal colour scheme of bold red and aqua (above, be­fore and af­ter). in ad­di­tion, the And-romeda foun­tain, which the Queen bought at the 1851 Great Ex­hi­bi­tion, has been re­fur­bished and is now in full work­ing or­der.

‘Queen Vic­to­ria loved to be out­side in the fresh sea air and the ter­race was a place of peace,’ says sa­man­tha stones of English her­itage. ‘Open­ing up this pre­vi­ously closed space to vis­i­tors gives them an­other glimpse into the pri­vate lives of the royal cou­ple.’ Visit www.english-her­itage.org.uk for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion. CP

A right royal get­away: the pub­lic can now visit the re­ju­ve­nated Ital­ianate ter­race at Os­borne House on the Isle of Wight

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.