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Angleseyville in 1831: ‘Such an Enchanting Spot’.

This carefully researched print shows Robert Cruickshank’s vision of an elegant resort on the Solent springing into life. It is the bright morning of the enterprise; everything bids fair for its success, and the reputation of its young architect, Thomas Ellis Owen, is becoming solidly established.

The new Anglesey Crescent is a scene of bustling activity. Henry Cooper, the gardener who lives under the Reading Room, digs in the Ornamental Garden, which is much loved by key-holding families and their dogs.

New residents strolling along the Garden’s Terrace Walk enjoy the panorama of shipping on the Solent, and a young honeymoon couple, staying at the Anglesey Arms hotel, drive out in a small carriage from the hotel’s livery stable.

A one-legged sailor, parrot on shoulder, has come on hard times; and a Ratcatcher is seeing off unwanted inhabitants. Elegant visitors, down for a Summer season, show off the latest fashions: big padded sleeves and pretty bonnets. The great Haslar Naval Hospital (the biggest and the best in Europe) and the nearby Dockyard mean there are always Naval families about. Captain Charles Austen has taken one of the villas beyond the Crescent; he’s helping to organise a Regatta in Stokes Bay shortly.

In an advertisement in the Hampshire Telegraph for the 6th June 1831, Manageress MA Young extols the facilities of the Anglesey Arms Hotel:-

“Numerous Families have already visited this interesting spot, in proof of the salubrity of the air, of the delightful scenery, extensive land and sea views and the accommodation afforded both to the Invalid and the Traveller. The drives in the immediate vicinity are not to be equalled.
Warm and Cold Baths, with an elegant Reading Room adjoining, situate on a beautiful Promenade; also Machine Baths, on the clear and delightful beach of Stokes Bay, immediately opposite Ryde.
The Carriage and Stabling Departments are greatly enlarged.
Steam Packets from the Harbour of Portsmouth, which is only a short distance from Anglesey, to Southampton and all parts of the Isle of Wight several times a day; also to Plymouth twice a week, and to Jersey, Guernsey and France. Coaches to Southampton, London, and the West of England daily. “

The print is available in a limited edition of 250, unframed, price £40. It can be framed by Richard Martin to match his framing for the previous print (which was somewhat smaller.) If you would like one, please ring 92-586403 asap.


Newsletter Autumn 2010


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