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Live and breathe the story of England at royal castles, historic gardens, forts & defences, world-famous prehistoric sites and many others.
We have changed the opening arrangements of our sites to play our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Osborne is open to local visitors and Members to use for exercise during the lockdown period. You will need to book in advance in order to visit, and we ask everyone to bear in mind the government’s latest advice on travelling before you plan your visit. All the interior spaces will be closed, but the grounds and gardens remain open. We have additional safety measures in place at all of our sites including social distancing, enhanced cleaning and limits on visitor numbers to protect the health of all our Members, visitors, staff and volunteers. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this difficult time.
Please note - the gardens and grounds at Osborne are open. To comply with government guidelines, all interior spaces including the House and Swiss Cottage are currently closed.
We've made some changes to help keep you safe, and things might be a little different when you visit. Here's everything you need to know.
Inspirational and intimate, Osborne is a venue that will welcome and wow your guests. Hold your event in rooms bursting with colour and regal splendour, or down in the wood-fringed private beach. A marquee over-looking the sea is a memorable setting in which to hold your reception and celebrations, emanating the extravagant events hosted by the Queen herself.Find out more
Robert Pope Blachford extends and adapts an existing house into a three-storey residence, with a walled kitchen garden and a brick stable block.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert lease Osborne House from Lady Isabella Blachford.
The royal couple buy Osborne. Albert commissions architect and master builder Thomas Cubitt to advise him on an extension. Cubitt recommends they build a new house.
Find out more about the history of Osborne
The first phase of building, the Pavilion, is completed. It houses the private rooms of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the royal nurseries.
The second phase is completed, including the wing for the royal household. The old house is demolished.
The main wing, initially used by the royal children, is built on the old house site and is linked to the household wing by a long corridor.
Read a description of Osborne
An extensive network of new walks and drives is created, including routes around the perimeter of the park and to a private beach.
A timber Swiss Cottage is built for the royal children in their own garden, nearly a mile to the east of the house.
Stables for 50 horses and carriages are completed to the south. The former stables are transformed into kitchen facilities and servants' accommodation.
Prince Albert dies unexpectedly at Windsor Castle, leaving Victoria overwhelmed with grief.
The male dormitory, first built in 1850, is extended to accommodate the Indian servants introduced to the royal household.
The Durbar Wing is built to provide a large reception or dining room, as well as a private suite for the queen's youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, and her family.
Queen Victoria dies at Osborne.
Against Victoria's explicit wishes, her successor, Edward VII, gives the estate to the nation.
Part of the grounds become the Royal Naval College Osborne. The ground floor of the Pavilion and the council and audience rooms are opened to the public. Other areas are converted into a convalescent home for officers.
The Royal Naval College at Osborne is closed.
Elizabeth II gives permission for Victoria and Albert's private rooms to be unlocked and opened to the public.
See highlights from the collections at Osborne
English Heritage takes over management of Osborne. Repairs, redecoration and re-presentation take place.
Recently opened exhibitions include the recreated royal nursery suite, Queen Victoria's private beach and new presentations at the Swiss Cottage.
Learn more about Osborne