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Binstead Cottage

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This article is about the villa southwest of Binstead Church. For other uses, see Binstead Cottage (disambiguation).
‘The situation is justly celebrated as the most captivating sylvan spot in the Isle of Wight; and the dwelling is a pleasing specimen of the genuine cottage style--simple in its form, but exceedingly picturesque. A variety of noble forest trees unite their luxuriant foliage, and form a close screen on every side, except where openings have been made to afford views of the adjacent sea, enlivened at all times by passing ships and fishing craft’ -George Brannon, 1831
Binstead Cottage (later known as Binstead Parsonage and post-1835 as Binstead Lodge[1]) was a thatched cottage-style villa with a spectacular garden and grounds, at Binstead on the Isle of Wight Estates, southwest of Binstead Church. It was widely admired in the early 19th century for its rustic beauty and scenic position, and was reproduced in many engravings.

Binstead Cottage is listed in the Estate accounts for 1762[2].

Around 1816[3] it became Binstead's rectory, and the residence of Rev Augustus Hewitt. On 6 March 1835 it was conveyed back to the Fleming Estate, after which it was known as Binstead Lodge. (It must be distinguished from neighbouring Binstead Lodge, and Binstead Lodge's successor Binstead House, which were both known as Binstead Cottage on occasion.) Around the 1860s it became the lodge-house for Binstead House, and its grounds absorbed into those of Binstead House.

Descriptions from local guide books

‘This beautiful cottage, enclosed by a fine quick-set, is situated in a spot almost paradisaical. The grounds and the views which surround it, are of exquisite beauty.’ –Beauties of the Isle of Wight, 1826
‘The Grounds of Binstead Parsonage adjoin Mr Fleming’s on the west, Their owner, the Rev. Augustus Hewitt, very politely admits the public to view them on certain days; namely, Fridays, before one, and Mondays, after four o’clock. The house is only a pleasing cottage, a picture of elegant rustication. But the little paradise that surrounds it, must be seen to be properly appreciated. It forms an assemblage of knolls and lawns, flower-beds, tufts of elegant shrubs, and groups of noble evergreens; with rock-work, and other artificial decorations, amongst the latter of which a delightful summerhouse should be specially noticed. A terrace looks out beautifully upon the Solent through breaks in the umbrageous trees that line the shore.’ –Thomas Barber, 1850
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  1. See Binstead Cottage (disambiguation) and Binstead Lodge (disambiguation)
  2. Disbursements of the Fleming Estate, 1762
  3. Probably after James Edwards died in January 1816.
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