Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Ryde Architecture


(West Street, Ryde)

Early drawing, unsigned

Built by 1819 and leased to William Ball Clifford of Southsea.  It appears that the house was enlarged between 1836 and 1840

The next known occupier was James Dempster who was living there in 1841.

In 1847 the Lord of the manor granted a lease to Miss Mary Hare, and she was still in occupation in 1851. She was then 78 and came from Taunton, Somerset.

In 1853 the house was sold to Dr James N. Merriman, surgeon and Apothecary Extraordinary to Queen Victoria.  He obtained permission from the Lord of the manor to demolish the house and replace it with a larger modern house. Mr Merriman died in 1854, aged 48.

The next occupier, who moved in the following year, was the Hon. John Petty Ward and family. He was a member of Viscount Bangor’s family and had worked in the East India Company’s service.  He died at Saxonbury in March 1869, aged 78 years.

During the next few years the house had several occupiers including Henry Lockwood.  Born in Paris, he retired from the Diplomatic Service in Egypt.  He came to live in Saxonbury House with his wife in 1875.  He died in Bournemouth in 1882.

It appears that the house was then empty for about 2 years.

In 1884 Mrs Elizabeth Brigstocke moved into the house. She was the widow of William Benett Player Brigstocke who had died in the November. Mrs Brigstocke stayed until her death in 1922.

From 1933 to 1935 Saxonbury was occupied by Mrs. C. K. Buchanon.

In 1937 the property was put up for sale and for a short while became a school, run by Mr Fraser Boyd and Mr D. Willott, BSc.

In 1938 there was a change of use to an outdoor and indoor sports club.

By 1951 the building had been divided into apartments.

More about Elizabeth Brigstocke here

More about David Willott here

Sources: IW Observer, IW County Press & Sale Catalogue
Image: Roy Brinton Collection
Article: Ann Barrett