5 Alexandra Gardens: Windsor Carlton

click to play the Windsor Carlton video

Number 5 is one of the two houses that is still a single unit, along with Bermuda House at number 3.

The original name of the Windsor Carlton was Enville House. The first reference to this was made in the Kelly's Directory of 1888. At that time Mrs Roff ran it as a lodging house.

Many of the houses were run as lodgings or apartments up to the 1920's. A story told to us whilst researching Alexandra Gardens was that many people, who had received medical treatment at the Ventnor Chest Hospital, loved the area so much they stayed on in Ventnor after completing their treatment. Many, it would seem, lived in lodgings in Alexandra Gardens.

Picture of Windsor Carlton nowWindsor Carlton 2009

In 1937/8 Mr and Mrs Phillips, the owners of number 6, acquired number 5 from Mrs Buckell, the wife of the late William Buckell, solicitor from number 1. Mrs Buckell had moved to number 5 after the death of William in 1902, number 5 was her private residence.

The Phillips' connected number 5 to number 6, Dean House, via doorways and for a while both houses were known as Dean House and run as a Guest House by Mr and Mrs Phillips. There is evidence of two doorways from number 5 into number 6, on the top floor, in what is now Room Sylvia, and on the ground level behind where the late Victorian full length mirror now hangs.

After a while the houses were again separated, doorways were blocked up and number 5 became Carlton House. Number 6 was sold and continued as Dean House. These pictures are of the dining room and drawing room in Carlton House, taken around the 1960's. Today the dining room has become the breakfast room after being used as a bar for approximately 40 years. The drawing room, which was on the first floor is now Room Caroline, a four poster bedroom with stunning views of the Ventnor coastline.

Carlton House Dining Room 1960s
Carlton House dining room 1960s
Carlton House Drawing Room 1960s
Carlton House drawing room 1960s

In the 1960's the owners of number 5 acquired number 4, Windsor House. The two houses where joined at ground level via a door and covered walkway, and at basement level. The two names were put together and numbers 4 and 5 became known as the Windsor Carlton Hotel.

The ground floor rooms and their functions changed over time.

Dining Room in basement 1970s
The dining room was located in the basement
during the period 4 and 5 were joined

Bar in the 1970's
The bar in the 1970's - situated in the ground floor
front room (the dining room in the 1960s)


Picture of the bar in the 1990sThe bar in the late 1990s

The drawing room, now located on the ground floor to the rear of the building, was for a number of years, two single bedrooms. At this time the drawing room was located in house number 4 on the ground floor at the front of the building.

Number 4 and 5 were run as a hotel up to 2007. During its time as a hotel, the Windsor Carlton was a popular destination for family holidays, coach parties and school groups.

In 2003 Paul and Ann Hutchins bought the Windsor Carlton Hotel. The Windsor Carlton continued as a holiday destination during July and August and as a residence for school trips from March through to July and in September. Often the Windsor Carlton Hotel played host to as many as 45 children at a time. Over the years this had taken its toll on the condition of the buildings and much renovation and updating was required to bring the rooms into the 21st Century.

After two years of negotiations with the Isle of Wight Council, planning approval was, finally, granted to separate the two buildings. In December 2007 the doorway and covered walkway between 4 and 5 were blocked up and removed.

In January 2008 number 4 was sold and Paul and Ann Hutchins refurbished number 5 to its present standard (Visit Britain four star grading with gold award). The Windsor Carlton Guest Accommodation now offers five quality en-suite rooms to adults only.

The lease and freehold of number 5 were joined in January 2009.

Dates

Here are some of the key names and dates associated with the house, gleaned from the Deeds, Kelly's Directories and other sources.

1886-88 Mrs Maria Roff (Lodging house)
1891-95 Lodgings House run by Frederick Turner Smith and his wife Jane.
1899 Shown as vacant in Kelly's Directory
1901 Shown as vacant at the time of the Census
1904-22 Mrs Briddon (Apartments)
1924-35 Mrs Sarah Buckell (Private)
1936 Shown as vacant in Kelly's Directory
1937-60 Mr and Mrs Phillips connect to number 6 (Mrs Phillips died in 1959, Mr Phillips continued to live here until his death in 1960)
1974-75 Kelly's shows that Windsor Carlton House was run by Mr Henry & Mrs Irene Carver - we think they were there from the mid 1960's, they linked together numbers 4 and 5 in the late 1960's
1975-79 George and Sheila Davies owned the Windsor Carlton, they introduced school parties and "Golden Rail" holidays
1979-86 Owned by Mr and Mrs May - at this stage the hotel had 19 rooms
1986-2003 Owned by Richard and Caroline Woods
2003 Bought by Ann and Paul Hutchins who split 4 and 5 in 2008, remaining in number 5, which they upgraded.

If you have further information about this house or have stayed there in the past please contribute to the 5 Alexandra Gardens thread in our discussion forum.

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