SYDNEY TERRACE (Photo right taken 1980)
St Thomas’s Street, Ryde
This terrace of 4 large houses in St. Thomas’s Street, Ryde, was built in 1853. Over a hundred years later in the 1970’s it was converted into flats, and renamed Ryde Court. The flats were advertised by a local estate agent for sale in 1974 for between £6550 and £6850.
Over the years a great deal of the gentry lived at the Terrace, the comings and goings during the season are too many to quote, but to mention just a few from the fashionable list in the IW Observer:
2 July 1859 The Hon. H. Packenham (Dean of St Patrick) and Mrs. Packenham have arrived at Sydney Terrace.
7 July 1866 The Countess of Lucan has removed from Ham’s Lodge, Strand, to No. 2 Sydney Terrace.
27 October 1866 The Hon Mrs. Hamilton Ward has left No. 2 Sydney Terrace for London.
27 October 1866 Mr. and Mrs. Leach have taken No. 2 Sydney Terrace for the winter.
The occupier of No. 1 Sydney Terrace from when it was built, was Lady Anne Montagu, widow of the late Vice-Admiral of the Blue, Sir William Augustus Montagu, knight, whose remains were interred in the vaults of Holy Trinity Church, Ryde in 1852. They had previously lived at Brigstocke Terrace, Ryde.
Lady Montagu was a prominent member of the social scene in Ryde, and it was with great sorrow to her many friends when her death occurred at her residence on the 30th September 1864, at the age of 59. This lamentable event threw the families of Sir Henry Oglander and Mr. Augustus Leeds, &c. into mourning. The furniture and household possessions of Lady Montagu were advertised for sale by auction on 20th February the following year.
Another frequent occupier, who lived at No. 4 Sydney Terrace, was Major and Mrs. Fetherston Dilke, their main residence being Maxstoke Castle in Warwickshire. Although the castle was built in 1345, the Dilke family first came in possession of it in the 17th century. In the 18th century William Dilke of Maxstoke married Mary Fetherston-Leigh of Packwood House near Knowle, since then the two families and houses have been closely linked.
In October 1890 there was a rather involved court case referring to 3 Ryde labouring men who removed lead from the grounds of Sydney Terrace, that was intended for roof repairs to the building. Two of the men were discharge, but the third was given a merciful sentence, since the prisoner had hitherto been a respectable person, Sentence six weeks’ hard labour.
The exterior of the terrace building remains comparatively unchanged.
Sources: IW Observer, IW County Press & RSHG archive
Image: Roy Brinton Collection
Article: Ann Barrett