7 Alexandra Gardens

Less is known about numbers 7 and 8, as the freeholds were sold very early to Henry Ingram and Sons, builders.

In the 1880’s R H Phillips ran a lodging house at 7 Alexandra Gardens before moving away from Ventnor and then returning to live at number 2. R H Phillips was a prime mover in the Ventnor Enhancement Association, local superintendent of the Wesleyan and General Assurance Co., member of the Wesleyan Church and one-time Sunday-school Superintendent. He established “The Golden Key” grocery store at the top end of High Street at the corner of West Street.

“Nevada” in the 1947 Ventnor Guide

The 1891 Census shows that the house was a lodgings house run by Isobel Beedle with the help of a housemaid and kitchen maid. At the time the house also had a boarder, two visitors and a family of five – a total of 11 people living in the house. The 1901 Census shows the lodgings house keeper as Kate Knight with her widowed mother (aged 73) and her sister and a general servant. There were two families of three staying with them.

During the Second World War the house was used as a billet for soldiers.

The 1947 guide to the town shows the house as a holiday residence, “Nevada”, run by the Misses M Dashwood.

In 1981 the TV movie of DH Lawrence’s second novel The Trespasser, which was set on the Isle of Wight, was filmed in this house. The movie starred Alan Bates, Pauline Moran and Dinah Stabb. The film gained wider distribution in the USA.

Apparently at the time of filming of The Trespasser number 7 still had shutters and was very much in its Edwardian state. As other houses e.g numbers 3 and 5 show no evidence of ever having shutters this adds credence to a theory that numbers 7 and 8 were build by Ingram and Sons, rather than Drudge and Wheeler who we know built 1-6.


Here are some of the key names and dates associated with the house, gleaned mostly from Kelly’s Directories.

1886 Kelly’s shows the house being occupied by a Miss Harriet and it being a lodging house.
1888 Still a lodging house according to Kelly’s but occupied by R H Phillips
1891/92 Apartments which Kelly’s and the 1891 Census show as being occupied by Miss Isabel Beedle
1894 Kelly’s list it as furnished apartments occupied by Mrs James (same name as in number 8 at the same time)
1895-1924 Listed by Kelly’s as apartments occupied by Misses K & A Knight
1931-34 Kelly’s show the house occupied by Mrs Melvina Ann Bell.
1937 -51 GT Dashwood Jr is listed by Kelly’s as the occupant.