Padmore House located within a mile of Osborne House and situated off Beatrice Avenue, Whippingham, has a long history. Set in 15 acres of land facing over fields to the Medina Estuary.
Paddemore c.1247; Paddemour 1342; Padmore 1442. Marshy ground frequented by toads OE. padde + mor1
The history commences before 1640 to which we currently have no record, however in 1640 the house was sold to William Turgis, a merchant from London by the then owner Robert Baker. In 1673 the property again exchanged hands this time passing to Rev. Benedict Ball. In 1742 Mr Blachford of Osborne was in tenancy, followed by Dr. Benjamin Cook, a surgeon at Newport in 1762. In 1780 William Cheek rented the house and ten years late William Joliffe rented both Great and Little Padmore.
From 1841 Revd. James Jolliffe, who was Queen Victoria's Chaplin on the Island, lived there with his three daughters, Frances, Mary and Emily until 1914.
In 1914 the estate was sold to Samuel Saunders, aviation pioneer, whose company Saunders Roe had factories in East and West Cowes. He sold a parcel of land to his company S.E. Saunders Ltd for £2000, which was referred to as the Folly Works. His boatbuilding firm also became interested in aviation, and already had a reputation for building fast hydroplane motorboats. The company developed and patented a method of laminating wooden boat hulls to keep them waterproof. The innovation proved useful for producing watertight flying boat hulls. One of the first designs was the 'Bat Boat'. An Air-Sea Hybrid built in partnership with Sopwith Aviation Co Ltd.
In 1920 he moved into Padmore with his wife Kate and son Hubert. In 1929 Sam Saunders retired and spent his time planting the 800 tree orchard and constructing a rose garden with a central circular pond and fountain (originally fed from the huge water tank at the top of the tower) is unique. He also built the community centre and installed electricity to Whippingham Church. In 1933 Samuel Saunders died and is buried at St Mildred's Church, Whippingham.
1935 Hubert Saunders sold Padmore. The Ball family moved in. A Mrs Barclay lived at the house in WW2.
1974 Mr Bainbridge sold the house and it was turned into a hotel: Padmore House Country Hotel, the house came to have some repute during the 1970s/1980s and was said to be Ted Heath's favourite restaurant on the Island. The Hotel changed hands 3 times up to its closure in 1995. From 1995 to 1997 the house was used, as an antiques showroom but remained uninhabited until November 2005, when it again changed hands. It is now reverted back to a private family home, lovingly restored.
Source: 1. A D Mills, Place Names of the Isle of Wight, Paul Watkins 1996; Kokeritz.This page was last edited on: 4th March, 2015 06:16:57