Get Hands on with History: Country HouseSat 15 - Sun 23 Feb 2020
Robert Pope Blachford extends and adapts an existing house into a three-storey residence, with a walled kitchen garden and a brick stable block.
1844-5Victoria and Albert
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert lease Osborne House from Lady Isabella Blachford.
1845A Brand New House
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.
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The first phase of building, the Pavilion, is completed. It houses the private rooms of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the royal nurseries.
1848Household Wing Completed
The second phase is completed, including the wing for the royal household. The old house is demolished.
1851Main Wing Completed
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.
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1850sGardens and Beach
An extensive network of new walks and drives is created, including routes around the perimeter of the park and to a private beach.
1853-4Children's Swiss Cottage
A timber Swiss Cottage is built for the royal children in their own garden, nearly a mile to the east of the house.
1861Stables and Servant Facilities
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.
1902Given to the Nation
Against Victoria's explicit wishes, her successor, Edward VII, gives the estate to the nation.
1903-4Royal Naval College
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.
1954Private Rooms Revealed
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