Alexandra House 2009
House is in a striking position at the end of the street, bordering
on Pier Street. It is currently split into four flats, one of which
is a holiday
rental, with all flats in common ownership. Like number 2 it
stands directly on the site where the Ventnor Mill building stood
until its demolition in 1875.
most of the houses in the street, which quickly became apartments
or small hotels, Alexandra House started life as home to a solicitor,
William T Way Buckell, who lived in the house from 1886 until his
death in 1902. William Buckell was the son of the first solicitor
to open offices in Ventnor in 1847 - with the development of the
town in second half of the nineteen century it was no doubt a busy
Buckell was married to Sarah in 1887 and was a partner in Buckell
and Drew Solicitors, now part of Glanvilles in Newport. Records
show that in 1899 he was a member of the Council and a Freemason.
His widow moved out of the house soon after his death, but came
back to the street, number 5, around 1924 where she went on to become
a councilor too, in 1927 until 1933. She died in 1937 - 35 years
Reginald Knight, a dentist, and his wife Sybil Knight lived at the
house from 1910. In 1922 Sybil bought the freeholds to houses 1
to 6 which she gradually sold off, only owning 4 and 5 by the time
of her death in 1977. After the death of Reginald, Sybil moved to
Wareham in Dorset, the same address as Peggy Hill, possibly Reginald
and Sybil's daughter.
house continued to be a dental practice until 1948. First it passed
to Cyril Gatwick Knight, later a partnership
with Arthur Leslie Wells in 1936 saw the dental practice continue.
Cyril Knight was clearly a public spirited resident. On 15th May 1925 the Isle of Wight Mercury reported on its front page "Many people have to thank Mr C G Knight of Alexandra Gardens for his enterprise in enabling them to hear the King open the new Wembley exhibition. Mr Knight placed a fine loudspeaker at the open window and the whole proceedings were distinctly heard". This was less than three years after the British Broadcasting Company started wireless transmissions in November 1922.
1948 the house became the Alexandra Private Hotel before becoming
the Alexandra Holiday Flatlets - six units and a basement flat -
in 1963. In 1989 the six flatlets were converted into three flats.
house suffered significant damage in the tornado which struck Ventnor
in 1996 which ripped the roof off the building. The present fine
roof was built as a replacement.
are some of the key names and dates associated with the house, gleaned
from the Deeds, Kelly's Directories and other sources.
first leasehold for Number 1 was drawn up, to Henry Linington,
who sublet to William T Way Buckell Solicitor.
right of way was set up across the top of the outbuildings of
Number 1 for access to the side door of Number 5 Alexandra Parade,
then a printing works, now Number 33 Pier Street.
new water pipe was laid beneath the back yards of Numbers 1
and 2 to divert the Mill stream into 'The Triangle' (soon to
become the cascade gardens).
show the house occupied by Mrs Quarrington who had it as apartments.
Linington sold to Reginald Douglas Knight, a dentist.
Knight rented Number 1 to Cyril Gatwick Knight, also a dentist.
The rent was £50 per annum with the option to purchase
Knight did buy Number 1, for £800, from Reginald's widow,
Sybil Irene. Unfortunately, they used 'an inexperienced recently
qualified solicitor' for the transaction which lead to problems
the original documents were not legally sound, a 'Certificate
of Assurance' had to be drawn up after properly completing searches
etc. (There is much documentation in the Deeds about this!).
by Leslie George Meadows for £4600. Meadows then applied
for a 'Change of use' for the building and converted it to 'Alexandra
Private Hotel'. Cyril sold his Dentist practice and equipment
to David Sinclair, also a dentist at 42 High Street, for £1300.
bought by Henry Wilkinson Harms and Mollie Harms for £4250
plus £1350 for the effects. Henry (Harry) Harms was Station
Master at Ventnor Station for 15 years.
Harms sold the hotel to Violet Beatrice Hicks and Catherine
Gertrude Tansley for £3500 plus £1000 for effects.
(They didn't do too well!).
and Catherine sold to William and Jeanne Ludgate.
Private Hotel was converted to Alexandra Holiday Flatlets,
6 units and a basement flat. Not sure if Violet and Catherine
did the conversion, or the Ludgates, who also took out a mortgage.
was given to convert to 3 residential flats but the work was
not carried out.
Holiday Flats bought by Wallace and June Turberfield.
less than one year sold to John Voultaire and Eileen Joyce Doone.
Doons sold the Holiday Flats to Kenneth Brian and Maureen Lomax
Lomax's sold to J and C Properties for £65,000.
and C Properties applied for permission to convert to 3 residential
flats and carried out the conversion.
leasehold agreements were set up for Flats 1,2,3 and the basement.
There have been various owners of the freehold and the four
leases but the building has stayed as four separate flats.
small tornado struck Ventnor and ripped off the roof of Number
1. Henry Ingram and Sons carried out the repairs which included
replacement of all the ceilings in the top flat.
iron railings and gate were installed around the property by
Graham Potter of The Forge, Bonchurch.
the present time, Tony and Jeane Minx are the owners of the
freehold and all 4 flats. 3 flats are let to permanent tenants
and the top flat is a holiday
thanks to the current owners, Tony and Jeane Minx, for their help
in compiling this page.
you have further information about this house or have stayed there
in the past please contribute to the 1
Alexandra Gardens thread in our discussion forum.