“THE GATES OF ST JOHN”
This unusual house was built circa 1912 in Riboleau Street, by Ryde builders, Messrs Wheeler Bros. for Madame Emily Madelina Du Pre, who died 31 Jan 1924, at Paddington, London, aged 71. Madame du Pre was a spinster.
At the time of the 1911 census, Madame Du Pre was residing at 24 Warwick Avenue, Paddington, W London, her place of birth was given as Edinburgh, Scotland.
It is not known whether Madame Du Pre actually spent much time at this property on the Isle of Wight, or just used it as a holiday residence during the season.
The house was unique and of very ornate architecture, from every angle there was something different to see. The rooms had marble floors, which would probably have been very cold in the winter and cool in the summer. Across the road was built a lifeboat house and stabling, complete with lifeboat. The lady believed that the great flood was coming again, so she made sure she was fully prepared for when it happened.
The house was taken down in 1948 bit by bit and every piece numbered, it was then transported to the West country to be re-assembled there.
Images source: RSHG Archive Roy Brinton Collection