• A compulsive walker, he could now climb daily onto High Down (later given the name Tennyson Down)<br /><b>Picture by OSCAR GUSTAVE REJLANDER (1813-1875)</b><br />

    The Tennyson Family Walking in the Garden, 1863

    A compulsive walker, he could now climb daily onto High Down (later given the name Tennyson Down)
    Picture by OSCAR GUSTAVE REJLANDER (1813-1875)
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  • <i> . . . Next day we went to Farringford & looking from the drawing-room window . . . thought <q>I must have that view</q></i><br /><b>Painting by: RICHARD DOYLE (1824-1883)</b><br />

    View from Drawing Room, 1856

    . . . Next day we went to Farringford & looking from the drawing-room window . . . thought I must have that view
    Painting by: RICHARD DOYLE (1824-1883)
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  • Close by, he built himself a summer house where he did much of his writing.<br /><b>Drawing by W. BINSCOMBE GARDNER</b><br />

    Tennyson’s Dogs Outside the Summer House at Farringford, 1892

    Close by, he built himself a summer house where he did much of his writing.
    Drawing by W. BINSCOMBE GARDNER
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  • <i><q>… I do not quite like children croquetting on that lawn. I have a personal interest in every leaf about it</q></i> <br /><b>Watercolour by: HELEN MARY ELIZABETH ALLINGHAM (1848-1926)</b><br />

    Farringford, c. 1905

    … I do not quite like children croquetting on that lawn. I have a personal interest in every leaf about it
    Watercolour by: HELEN MARY ELIZABETH ALLINGHAM (1848-1926)
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  • One famous visitor who did arrive was Garibaldi, who came in 1864, and planted a Wellingtoniana, a hugely tall fir tree, near the house.<br /><b>Illustrated London News, 23 April 1864.</b><br />

    The Meeting of Garibaldi and Tennyson

    One famous visitor who did arrive was Garibaldi, who came in 1864, and planted a Wellingtoniana, a hugely tall fir tree, near the house.
    Illustrated London News, 23 April 1864.
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  • Watts came to Farringford in May 1890 to paint his last two portraits of Tennyson, one in doctoral robes for Trinity College, Cambridge and the other in his peer’s robes<br /><b>Painting by G. F. Watts</b><br />

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1890

    Watts came to Farringford in May 1890 to paint his last two portraits of Tennyson, one in doctoral robes for Trinity College, Cambridge and the other in his peer’s robes
    Painting by G. F. Watts
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  • On 6 August 1897, a landmark memorial, a tall stone cross was unveiled on Beacon Down as a monument to the poet laureate.<br /><b>photograph by F.N. BRODERICK</b><br />

    The Unveiling of the Monument on The High Down, 1897

    On 6 August 1897, a landmark memorial, a tall stone cross was unveiled on Beacon Down as a monument to the poet laureate.
    photograph by F.N. BRODERICK
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History of the House

Farringford is a Grade 1 Listed Building and was the main domicile residence of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate, from 1856 until his death in 1892. It continued in the possession of the Tennyson family until 1945, when it was sold to British Holiday Estates Ltd, who converted the house into a hotel. It continued as a hotel until 2010.

Occupying a level position overlooking land to the north and east towards Afton Down, Farringford is a local landmark, that lies west of Freshwater Bay and south east of Middleton, with Tennyson Down on its south side Map of Tennyson Down 1769 . Indeed Farringford is tucked under the north side of this steep chalk down, where the sloping land flattens out as it extends northwards. The down is 147 metres at its highest point at Tennyson Monument and ranges down to 75 metres south of Farringford, while the house is only 35 metres above sea level. The area was developed at the very beginning of the 19th century from an area of small pasture enclosures, belonging to a holding called Walls or Farringford, but now called Home Farm.

The original house itself is essentially a large country villa, based on a Georgian plan and Georgian structural principles, but with superficial, cosmetic Gothic features, such as castellated parapets, Gothic arched windows, flattened arch veranda, Gothic porch and internal Gothic ornamentation to doors and cornices. Stone Foundatioms The house is constructed in buff-coloured brick in Flemish bond with a slate roof, and rests on a mixed stone foundation.

Farringford is unique on the Island in its style of architecture and its exterior form. Few other Gothic buildings have the same style of windows or porch and there is no other building that has the same lay-out in the form of an extended U. Most Gothic buildings of the 19th century are characterised by a neo-Elizabethan features such as square-headed windows with a drip-moulds above and gables. In a way, Farringford represents a hybrid house, combining the idea of proportion and symmetry of Georgian architecture with the idea of Gothic ornamentation.

Change has taken the form of extensions, rather than any rebuilding. The original house of Farringford has remained relatively intact and is little changed from its initial plan, the only structural change being the repositioning of the entrance from the east to the north side. Over the years there have been a number of extensions such that the original house has become somewhat swallowed up in new additions and the first neat Georgian frontage has been lost. Internally, where change has occurred, it has been in the function rather than the form of the rooms.

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Farringford · Bedbury Lane · Freshwater Bay · Isle of Wight · PO40 9PE · UK · © Farringford Estate Ltd 2013 · Company Reg No 590 4013