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

ASHBURTON HOUSE, 12 Melville Street, Ryde

This property fronts directly onto the pavement in Melville Street, on the north side near to Nelson Street, and adjoins the Observatory.  Both buildings were often mentioned together, and they appeared to be let out to tenants most of the time.  The few times they were advertised for auction, the notice appeared thus, as in July 1889:

Lot 12. The compact property, known as THE OBSERVATORY and ASHBURTON, situate at the corner of Nelson-street and Melville-street with stabling and conservatory in the rear. The whole are let to yearly tenants and produce £142 per annum. Held for a term of 999 years by lease dated 25th October, 1850, at an annual ground rent of £15.15s.

The fashionable list gave the comings and goings of many families who took Ashburton for the season, many returning year after year.  The house was obviously a popular place to stay, being in such a prominent place, close to the business premises in Union-street with their wonderful array of commodities, and a short way from the Esplanade and the Pier to promenade upon.

A few names mentioned: June 1878 Mr & Mrs G. B. Ward & Family;  May 1888 Mr & Mrs & Miss Grant;  July 1888 Rev Mr   & Mrs Brooke;  July 1891 Mrs Lloyd Jones & Family;  August 1892 Mr & Mrs Ruddell-Todd;  September 1893 Colonel & Mrs Menzies;  June-Sept 1900 Major Phillips.

During August to December 1904, Mr A Solomons, practical optician, was carrying on his trade from Ashburton, his advert (shown), appeared in the IW Observer every week.

Ashburton Sept 2023

For the 4 years 1906 till 1910, a Mr Joseph Amy LRCP., LRCS, Edin. & Mrs & Miss Amy were resident at Ashburton.  Miss H. V. Amy LRAM. advertised that she gave lessons on the pianoforte and theory of music at her own or her pupils’ residences.

Next person in residence from 1910, was Mr John Robinson, solicitor notary commissioner for oaths.  By 1927, he had been joined in the well-known law firm by Mr Jarvis, their telephone number 147.

Mr Robinson had been a solicitor serving the community since 1902, at a later date the company became Robinson, Jarvis & Rolf and had moved premises further along Melville-street to number 18.  Eventually the company was called RJR Solicitors.

The property of Ashburton remains very much the same in appearance today, as in the photo of Sept 2023.


Source: IW Observer
Images: Old Postcard Roy Brinton Collection & new photo E. Saunders

Article: Ann Barrett