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Latitude: 50.6724 / 50°40'20"N
Longitude: -1.5155 / 1°30'55"W
OS Eastings: 434333
OS Northings: 85972
OS Grid: SZ343859
Mapcode National: GBR 793.MPT
Mapcode Global: FRA 77Q9.FD6
Entry Name: Dimbola Lodge
Listing Date: 4 March 2003
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1096166
English Heritage Legacy ID: 490188
Location: Freshwater, Isle of Wight, PO40
County: Isle of Wight
Civil Parish: Freshwater
Built-Up Area: Freshwater
Traditional County: Hampshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight
Church of England Parish: Freshwater All Saints
Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth
1354/0/10007 TERRACE LANE
04-MAR-03 Dimbola Lodge
Pair of houses converted into one house; now used as gallery of photography. Circa mid C19; remodelled and converted into one house in 1860 for Julia Margaret Cameron, the photographer. Painted brick. Slate roof with gables with ornate wavy pierced bargeboards and finials to the bracketed verges. Brick axial stacks with corbelled brick tops.
PLAN: Two large mid C19 2-bay adjacent houses, joined together and remodelled in 1860 to form one house with the addition of a central staircase and a porch tower at the centre of the front.
Victorian Picturesque style.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys. 3:1:3 bay south east front with two gables to left and right each with 2-storey canted bay and with doorway between, the right with semi-circular fanlight; 4-pane sash windows; central entrance with porch tower with double doors, mullion-transom windows and moulded cornice. Right-hand [north east] return, four gabled bays, centre right projects with canted first floor oriel on brackets. Rear [north west] gabled and with large canted first floor bay windows on braces and with partly slate-hung service wing on right.
INTERIOR: Although restored the interior retains some of its Victorian joinery, including the staircase, installed by Mrs Cameron, with pierced Gothic balusters and some chimneypieces; also an elaborate carved wooden chimneypiece in the stairhall, said to have Tennyson's initials scratched on it. Mrs Cameron's dark room was the coal-house, which is now part of the house accommodation, but the fowl-house, that was her studio, has been demolished.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Dimbola Lodge was the home of the great Victorian photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron from 1860 to 1875. In 1860 she bought two mid C19 houses overlooking Freshwater Bay and joined them together to form a large seaside villa. It was here, at Dimbola Lodge, that Mrs Cameron took most of the 3000 extant photographs for which she is best known, including portraits of many eminent Victorians, such as her friends Tennyson, Darwin, Herschel and Carlyle and many others including Robert Browning, Lewis Carol and Alice Liddell, George Du Maurier, Holman Hunt, Charles Kingsley, Longfellow, Ellen Terry and G.F. Watts. All sat for her at Dimbola Lodge and their portraits are the best known images we have of them. This literary and artistic coterie also included Thackeray, Lear, Garibaldi, Jennie Lind, Millais, Palgrave and Sullivan who all stayed at Dimbola Lodge, which was named after her family's tea plantation in Ceylon, where she returned in 1875.
SOURCE: Information provided by the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust, Dimbola Lodge.
Dimbola Lodge is of considerable historic interest because of its associations with the important Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and of the artistic and literary circle that visited her at Dimbola Lodge.
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