Queen Victoria loved to stay at Osborne House, her holiday home on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England.
The problem was the length and complexity of the journey. In order to get there from London, she had to take the train to Portsmouth and then travel by boat to Ryde. From there, she had to take another train to Wootton, which was still a good two miles from Osborne House.
Of course, being the Queen of England was not without its privileges; in 1875, a new railway station was built for her at Whippingham so that she could finish her journey closer to the house.
Perhaps it is not fair to refer to the construction of the station as “Queen Victoria’s Secret,” but given the level of communication at the time, it is unlikely that the fact was widely known. The station was not made available for public use until two years after her death in 1901.
Trains continued to operate on the line for a further 65 years, but the service was ultimately terminated. The station was subsequently converted into a five-bedroom family home currently owned by Tony and Sue Vickers.
However, the place is now too large for them, and they have put it on the market for an asking price of $1 million.
Sue says, “We were very excited when we knew we would be able to own the station that was built for Queen Victoria, and we have maintained many of the original features and some of the fireplaces. We are very sad to leave our unique home and its gardens, which have given us many years of pleasure. It’s been a lovely family home.”
Queen Victoria is reputed to have waited at the station in an area that is now used as a sitting room. The main bedroom used be the place from which a signalman would operate the points system to change tracks.
In addition to the five bedrooms, the property boasts four reception rooms, a conservatory, a kitchen/dining room, and a utility room. There is a large family bathroom plus three shower rooms and a downstairs cloakroom.
James Shelley, sales manager of real estate agents Fine & Country Isle of Wight, described the property in glowing terms.
“This is a wonderful home which holds a great deal of character and warmth, as well as its own slice of history. It could meet a number of needs: it could be a home to serve the requirements of two or even three generations of the same family; a holiday home; or a combination of the two. One thing is for certain here – the choices are plenty within this amazing property, and it certainly delivers substantial levels of charm and appeal.”
Maybe Queen Victoria would have “been amused” to learn that the railway station built for her personal use was now worth $1 million.
[Image credit: gender-focus.com]