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Binstead Lodge

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This article is about the villa north of Binstead Church. For other uses, see Binstead Lodge (disambiguation).
‘Adjoining the church yard is now added an ornamented cottage, of pleasing construction, intended for the occasional residence of the family of Fleming; to whom this manor belongs, as part of a considerable estate, extending to a distance towards the interior. From the footway to Ryde this now affords a conspicuous object, in addition to the other fine scenery of this delightful neighbourhood.’ -William Bernard Cooke, 1808

Binstead Lodge (later sometimes known as Binstead Cottage[1]) was a cottage ornée villa and 'marine residence' at Binstead on the Isle of Wight Estates, north of Binstead Church, and adjoining the grounds of the original Binstead Cottage (which it was probably intended to supersede). It was built shortly before 1808 by Elizabeth Fleming as the Island home of the Willis Fleming family[2]. It later was also known as Binstead Cottage, after the original Binstead Cottage became Binstead's rectory.

Binstead Lodge was built of thatch and brick, on a square plan, with two adjoining service wings. It bore the hallmarks of the cottage ornée style: self-consciously informal and rustic, with french windows and a veranda around the house on three sides[3]. By the 1830s, the style was going out of fashion; Mrs Elizabeth Nixon, in 1838, thought the Lodge 'nothing remarkable', 'small and badly furnished'. Nonetheless, the County Press, lamenting the building's destruction in 1851, called it 'one of the prettiest places on the Isle of Wight'.

Binstead Lodge was destroyed by fire during the day of 17 February 1851. John Barton Willis Fleming's widow Lady Downes and her husband Lord Downes were returning to the Isle of Wight on the steamer, and saw their home on fire as they made the crossing. The cause of the fire was a badly installed stove.

Binstead House was built on the site soon after.

Descriptions from local guide books

‘Immediately on the side of the church stands the elegant cottage of J. Fleming Esq. The view is lovely, and the grounds are exceedingly well laid out, especially a fancy garden, which from its singularity and elegance, is an object of general admiration.’ –Beauties of the Isle of Wight, 1826
‘Adjoining the North side of the church-yard, stands the marine cottage of John Fleming, Esq., M.P. for the county of Hants, who has recently erected, on the adjoining shore, a bath in the Swiss style. The magnificent trees, and the luxurious growth of the shrubs, in great variety, combined with the extent of the sea-view, lend an extraordinary charm to this peaceful retreat. "Meditation here may think down hours to moments. Here the heart may give a useful lesson to the head and Learning wiser grow without her books." The cottage is small, but its interior arrangements are convenient.’ –Thomas Brettell, 1840
‘North of the church stands the seat of John Fleming. Esq., the grounds of which are planned with much taste and attention to picturesque effect. They slope, precipitously in some places, down to the shore, where there is a bathing house, with various accompaniments, which, if not exactly Swiss, are exceedingly pretty.’ –Thomas Barber, 1850


  1. See Binstead Cottage (disambiguation) and Binstead Lodge (disambiguation)
  2. John Albin, A companion to the Isle of Wight (1823): 'Mrs. Fleming, the lady of the manor, has lately built an elegant marine cottage near the church.'
  3. The circa 1808 date of the Lodge is interesting: in 1807, the architect Thomas Hopper, who was later to design North Stoneham House, remodelled Craven Cottage in Fulham, subsequently 'considered the prettiest specimen of cottage architecture then existing'; after Hopper's death in 1856, the Penny Cyclopedia said of Craven Cottage, 'This house became a remarkable specimen of the "cottage ornee" style, afterwards so fashionable, and which Hopper perhaps was the means of introducing'.
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