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Wootton, in the Isle of Wight

A sentimental journey into its past

As I sit dreaming by my open door during the hot drowsy days of summer, thoughts drift across my mind of the people who walked and talked in this paradise of peace and quiet in days gone by.

What manner of man was he who saw and felt this must be the ideal spot to build a house and gardens overlooking such beautiful countryside? The history books tell us he was Lord Bolton, a previous Governor of the Island, and my imagination runs riot in trying to visualise how he and his family looked, their character, their pastimes and whether they were as happy as I am, living as I do in a caravan on a tiny plot in the very grounds of Fernhill.

To my mind, it must have been heavenly to wander in splendid solitude across the fields to the lake itself, savouring the beauty of it all, for in those days all this land stretching down to the bridge at Wootton belonged to Fernhill, thus making it one of the most beautiful estates on the Island.

All these thoughts made me long to find out more about the history of Fernhill before it becomes yet another faint memory in the minds of the Island people. Therefore, with the help of old records and the remembrances of kindly local folk, I have pieced together for those who love the Island, a picture of Fernhill and of the people who once lived there, and if this should prove of interest I shall be more than recompensed for any trouble I have taken.