George Street, Ryde
The property called “Sudbury Villa” was a substantial residence situated in upper George Street and for many years in the late 19th and early 20th century it was widely known as ‘The Doctor’s House.”
The first occupier of the villa was Capt. William Green, he was captain of the quarantine service working for the customs. The 1841 census shows him living in Union Street with his son William, a well-known wine merchant. Sometime before 1851 the captain had moved to Sudbury Villa. He remained there until his death on 15th January 1861. In June 1853 the name of Mrs McCall was mentioned in connection with Sudbury, but there is nothing that reveals in what context. Perhaps a servant or visitor?
In February 1861 the local press announced that “the Rev. J. D. Fardell with his family, had taken the property for 2 years.” However, they only stayed until January 1862. In May 1862 Madame Browne took the house and made it her home for 12 months.
After that a variety of people stayed at Sudbury, either for the season, or just a few months. It appeared to be empty in between lettings.
Lieutenant & Mrs Lees were there August to September 1862. Mr and Mrs Fowler & Family were resident from March to August 1863. Mr J. B. and Mrs Bull & Family occupied it just for September that year. The next resident, Mrs Bruce Skinner stayed longer, from April 1864 till March 1865.
By July 1865 the Rev James Smith and Mrs Laura Charlotte Smith & Family were the occupants, and he remained for 20 years until his death on 5 March 1886. His wife had pre-deceased him in May 1885.
In January 1888 Dr John Menham Pletts was living at the house with his wife and family. Later that year his wife Frances died at the young age of 34, which was a tremendous blow to the doctor and his young children. There is evidence from the Kelly’s Directory that he was still in occupation in 1898.
Once again, the local press announced the arrival of the next resident, it stated, “on 27 Jan 1900 Dr Philip Dymock Turner has now removed from Claverton House, Strand, to Sudbury Villa, George Street.” He was a physician & surgeon, and medical officer of health for the borough of Ryde. The doctor and his family were still in residence in 1921, but the contents of Sudbury Villa were being advertised for sale in April 1921, as Dr Philip Dymock Turner was leaving the Island.
A Dr Sampson must have moved in for a short period, because his house contents at Sudbury were advertised for sale by auction on 10 February 1922.
Mr and Mrs Eddie Wade were later residents but in the 1950’s Sudbury Villa and several other surrounding buildings were designated to be demolished to make way for the new and large, George Street Car Park. The Wade’s were very proud of the fact that Sudbury still retained many of its original features, notably the staircase and landings (photo above). The large garden also contained Sudbury Cottage where Mrs Wade’s brother Fred resided.
Sources: IW Observer & RSHG Archive
Images: RSHG Archive
Article: Ann Barrett