Osborne House Itself

I’ve posted a few times about our visit to Osborne House but I have not actually shown anything from inside the house in those previous posts.  Finally we have gone inside.  When it comes to visiting old houses, I often don’t bother with the inside but this one definitely seemed worth a look since we had come all that way.  It is definitely interesting but it is also quite bizarre in places.

Talking to some of the guides in the rooms, we discovered that the whole place was put together rather rapidly.  Things that look like marble columns are in fact plaster or concrete and painted to look like marble.  I think some of that speedy construction means that there is a lot to do in maintaining things.  When Victoria died, the house was handed over the country and was used as a place for sailors recovering – presumably from wounds sustained.  Bits of the house were locked off from them including her old bedroom which was treated like a shrine by the family.  Only in later years did the place start to get preserved and restored in parts.

There is plenty of art scattered around although I think quite a lot of it is replicas of originals which are elsewhere in the royal collection.  Grandiose displays abound but then other areas are a lot more practical.  The rooms for the kids (of which they had plenty) are very busy.  No individual rooms for the youngsters it seems.

The tour takes you on a route through the building and the final section includes the Durbar Room.  This is a seriously over the top space.  Decorated in styles reminiscent of India, it is an example of what Britain controlled at the time and could easily been considered gaudy.  I was both amazed at it and also rather put off.  If you give someone free rein to design something, don’t be surprised if they overdo it!

The house itself is Italianate in design but the interior is a combination of all sorts of things be it traditional English, Indian, Greek or anything else that came to mind.  It is an interesting thing to see but not a place that I could ever imagine spending a lot of time.

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