CORSTON HOUSE (Kelson)
Spencer Road, Ryde
Corston House was said to have been built in 1835 for Thomas Talbot Harrington, who was also mentioned in the Hampshire Advertiser press of August 1837 as being the owner.
In March 1842 the Marquis of Queensbury and family arrived on a visit to Corston House. In April 1844 Lieut. Col. Sir Claude M. Wade took the house for twelve months. The Hampshire Advertiser stated that Lieut. Col. Wade had entertained the principal families of Ryde and its neighbourhood on Tuesday 24 September 1844 at dinner and a ball in Corston House.
It was listed for sale by private contract in the Hampshire Advertiser in March 1849, the owner was a widow lady who was anxious to dispose of it by May that year along with Newton Cottage. They were described as a gentlemanly residences, handsomely furnished, each with stable and coach-house. The house agent for the sale was Edward Marvin of Ryde.
Mrs. Emma Adams, a 70-year old widowed lady from Anstey Hall, Warwick, was living at the house in 1851, with four servants, she remained there until she died in 1857. Mrs. Adams was buried 27 June at Anstey, Warwick. Mr. and Mrs. Knox were listed as visitors at Corston in the October of 1858. Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Gillson and the Misses Gillson took on the house in 1858 but didn’t appear to stay very long.
By November 1858 Captain and Mrs Katon had made it their home and stayed at Corston until the end of 1873. During 1860 and 1862 Mr. and Mrs. Whalley and family were frequent visitors, also a Mr. and Mrs. Boyd. In the August of 1862 a Mr. S. Chandos Pole and family, and Lady Anna Chandos Pole were in residence for the season. The Katon’s made regular visits to London, so the visitors probably took over the house in their absence.
At some point after the Katon’s left Corston and before August 1875, it was let to a Mr. James R West, Esq., on a lease expiring on 25th December 1881, at an annual rental of £165. Mr. West was living there with his wife.
On June 17th 1881 Corston House was advertised for sale by auction, and in August that year Messrs. Wallis, Riddett and Down were advertising that the House not having been sold at the auction, was for sale by private treaty. The house was described as detached, very substantially built of stone, with the best sanitary arrangements attentively considered, All surrounding properties were of first-class character, and a noticeable feature was its shelter from the north and east winds. On the north side there was a terraced lawn, screened from the road by a variety of shrubs, and the entrance on the south side was by an ornamental covered approach about 26ft in length. There was a pretty conservatory, also a verandah extending along the entire front of the property, with steps leading to the garden. The stabling comprised a 2-stall stable and coach-house, with a man’s room and loft over. It was held for a term of 999 years at an annual ground rent of £36. Earlier possession could be had if desired.
From 1882 the house was leased to John Rylands, of longford Hall, Manchester, who used it as a holiday home for Baptist Ministers. Mr. and Mrs. Rylands were listed as living at the property until 1890 and after that year until 1907 it only listed Mrs. Rylands at the property. In November 1908 there was a 2-day sale of the furniture from Corston House by request of the executors of the late Mrs. E. A. Rylands (deceased).
By 1912 Corston House was the home of Sir Thomas and Lady Sarah Brooke-Hitching, they also had Coombe Wood, Bonchurch, and had acquired Steephill Castle estate at Ventnor, the property Sir Thomas Brooke-Hitching held for some years. He died at Mentone in 1927 and Lady Sarah Brooke-Hitching died in October 1932 at her residence in Queens-road. more about Lady Sarah Kussoth Brooke-Hitching here
Sources: IW Observer, Sale brochures, RSHG Archive
Postcard Images: RSHG Archive & IW County Record Office
Article: Ann Barrett