Frank Cooper [later, changing the spelling to Cowper], of Kivernells, Lymington, Hants, purchased 5 acres of land from Mr. Robert Stayner Holford on 24 July 1883 for £582 and built Lisle Court. On the 25 March 1886 an additional 2 acres to the East were purchased from Robert Holford for £236. 5s.
The house was built by a well-known local builder, William Please of Holford House, New Road and when complete had a tower [now demolished] which contained the smoking room and there were wide lawns sloping down to the water. Lisle Court is situated on the western shore at the head of Wootton Creek and can been seen [though partially screened by trees] when arriving on the car ferry.
The house was run as a gentlemen’s school, Mr Cooper wrote at least two books for boys, the first one ‘Caedwalla’, or Saxons on the Isle of Wight, as an exciting book for boys. The second ‘Captain of the Wight’, a romance of Carisbrooke Castle in 1488, it was popular and there was a third edition in 1889. This book featured members of the De Lisle family who owned Wootton Manor. In addition to his sailing boats.
On 8 February 1890 the house was sold to Henry Cooper of No 4 Upper Phillimore Gardens, Kensington, Middlesex for £1500.
On 9 July 1891 the house was again sold, this time to Alfred Hewitt of 26 Lancaster Gate, Middlesex for £3500. Deeds show that Alfred Hewitt had been a sugar planter at Playstowe Plantation, Mackay, Queensland, Australia and was living temporarily at 28 Park Crescent, Middlesex.
Alfred Hewitt died on 6 November 1897 at Gledlow Terrace, Earls Court, London, leaving property in Australia and London valued at £6274. 0s. 10d to his wife Ernestine. Mrs Hewitt born 26 October 1850 died on 4 October 1908 and buried at St. Edmunds; the house was left in Trust for their five surviving children, Augustine Ernestine, Alfred Scott, Emily Gretchen, Amee Gerda and Rupert Paton Hewitt.
Ridgmay Ernest aged 13 years, third son died in a boating accident at Gurnard, Cowes, Isle of Wight on 31 August 1891. Their eldest son Charles Romilly died in South Africa of typhoid 1 February 1897.
On 28 March 1919 the Trustees sold the house to Commander Harold Egerton Dennis and his wife Evelyn. A further 11 acres of land to the West of the property were bought on 7 December 1920 from Countess Cowley the owner of Bodwen.
During the general strike of 1926 Commander Dennis organised volunteers to drive the Island trains, after the strike was over he invited them to Lisle Court. It was said that the trains were worse for wear after the strike.
On 29 September 1927 the house was sold to Albert de Lande Long a Lieutenant Colonel retired, of 29 Buckingham Place, Edinburgh and his wife Nan. After the death of Lt. Colonel de Lande Long in April 1956, his son Peter sold the house on the 25 March 1957 to Charles Albert Duley and his wife Olive Beatrice of the Hermitage, Whitwell, Isle of Wight.
Records show from 1965 to 1969 Robert E Milne was in occupancy.
From 1969 Raymond and Muriel Poore owned the house, later in 1972 converting it into a Country Hotel. In January 1982 the property exchanged hands with Bryan and Sue Willis along with John and Wendy Hall purchasing Lisle Court and using it as a joint holiday home and a centre from which to run International Competitive Sailing (ICS) dinghy racing courses for both adults and youngsters. Six courses were planned for the year with twelve for 1983.
In order to provide suitable accommodation for residents of the courses the house was gutted and refurbished, a commercial kitchen installed, a new bar built; downstairs toilets re-organised and other new equipment installed; all rooms were upgraded and redecorated.
The school continued to operate until 1989 when it was again sold in 1993.
This marked the end of the old estate; all the land to the West was sold, as was the land and coach house to the East.
Isle of Wight County Press
Mrs E. Loughlin
ICS Information Sheet 82/39