Welcome to Navarino Villa. An apartment, situated on the ground floor of a Victorian house, owned and managed by Jonathan and Susan Collins.
We have been visiting the Isle of Wight for many years, in particular Ventnor. Enjoying our visits to the Island so much, we decided to move here and make it our home four years ago. In search of a Victorian house of character we found ‘Navarino’, a house built in 1869 which was in desperate need of renovation. After 5 years the renovation is now complete. Proud of our achievements in renovating this Victorian Villa we think we have made it a special place.
With a keen interest in history generally and in particular the Victorian era. Ventnor has many Victorian properties, which were built from about 1830 onwards. The town was for many years, a popular destination for holidays and for health. The Royal National Hospital for diseases of the Chest was cited here, treating patients from around the country. Ventnor is also well known for its fresh air and unique micro climate.
Navarino Villa Apartment, formerly the service rooms for staff in the Victorian era, now offers excellent facilities, combining the old with modern facilities for a comfortable stay. We are sure you will enjoy your time spent here. Enjoy your visit to Ventnor and the Island. There is much to see and enjoy, we wish you a happy and memorable visit.
Thank you for visiting
Jonathan & Susan
The picture on the right titled ‘A Navarino House Party’ was taken outside Navarino on 1st September 1922. (Courtesy Ventnor Heritage Centre Archive)
The photograph on the left, of Navarino Villa, was taken C1900. There are no trees on St Boniface Down to the rear. (This photograph is held in a private postcard collection)
The photograph below, of St Boniface Down taken in C1934, Navarino Villa can be seen on the far right, on the end of the row of houses. (This picture is held in a private postcard collection)
A Navarino History
Navarino Villa was built circa 1870 during the reign of Queen Victoria as a boarding house. The building structure and room layout remain very much the same as when it was built. Set on three floors, the house is next to the old Edwardian school building, built in 1904, on the corner of St Boniface Road. The land was purchased in 1869 for the sum of £1,288.00.
An original article of sale, records in July 1885 ‘The Capital Freehold Residence known as “Navarino Villa” well situate in the St. Boniface Road at Ventnor will be sold by auction by Messrs. Francis Pittis and Son, Thursday 9th July at 3 O’Clock in the afternoon at The Marine Hotel in Ventnor.’ The highest bidder was Mr Clement Dear, he paid £820.00 for the whole property.
As a boarding house, many Victorians would have stayed here, the census returns for 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 record a variety of guests staying at the house from all over the UK and some returning from abroad. The rooms on the ground floor (Navarino Villa Apartment) were originally service rooms for staff. A bedroom, lounge, kitchen and scullery along with store rooms. There was evidence of a service bell or butlers bell board when the house was renovated, but this had long gone. An original butlers bell board has been installed.
The main house has 2 floors, there were 3 bedrooms, a lounge and a water closet on the first floor, 4 bedrooms, a lounge and a water closet on the 2nd floor. The layout of rooms is exactly the same as it was when the house was built, although some rooms have different functions now.
Our aim, after purchasing ‘Navarino’ in 2012 was to restore the building sympathetically, keeping it’s original features and enhancing those already in situ. Navarino was in a very bad way, and had suffered from decades of neglect. With a catalogue of problems, from the roof to the ground floor, initial inspection highlighted areas for immediate attention but the building was basically sound. The interior was a mixture of Victorian and 1960’s décor. Remaining were a wealth of original features such as fireplaces, doors, Victorian patterned toilet and ceiling roses. 1960’s patterned wallpaper adorned the walls. Carpets covered the floors, on top of layer upon layer of Lino! The gardens front and back were overgrown and the outbuilding which originally contained an outside toilet had collapsed.
Above, Navarino in 2012. The building was in a sorry state and in desperate need of attention both inside and outside. Left, Navarino in 2014, looking much better.
Today, Navarino has been restored. There wasn’t an inch of the property, which didn’t need attention. It has taken us many hours of painstaking work to restore this old place, ensuring its survival for many years to come.