A HISTORIC Isle of Wight property once frequently visited by famous Victorian author Charles Dickens is up for sale with a guide price of £2.5 million. 


Grade II-listed property, East Dene in Bonchurch — once home to Victorian poet, Algernon Charles Swinburne, built in 1825 — has been put on the market by Spence Willard estate agents.

Isle of Wight County Press: Aerial view of East Dene in Bonchurch showing the extent of the property.Aerial view of East Dene in Bonchurch showing the extent of the property. (Image: Spence Willard estate agents)

Isle of Wight County Press: East Dene's entrance and staircase.East Dene's entrance and staircase. (Image: Spence Willard estate agents)

East Dene, which needs renovation, is being sold on the basis of achieving consent for residential use.

Plans to turn the property into a single house with guest and staff accommodation — restoring the property to its original use — remain active.

And before that, last year, proposals to turn the estate into a boutique wellbeing hotel, 'aparthotel' and flats there, all faltered.

In more recent times, East Dene has been a wedding venue, hotel, youth activity centre and school — but during Covid-19, the building stood empty.

The 'marine villa', set in nearly eight acres of secluded grounds, boasts southerly views overlooking the English Channel.

Inside, East Dene has retain painted and gilded oak panelling and, designed to make the most of the southerly aspect and outlook, the house has substantial principal rooms, with a panelled hall, which runs the width of the house, providing access to three main reception rooms, as well as a big staircase lit by a large stained glass window.

In all, there are five reception rooms and six bedroom suites.

Features include original open fireplaces, extensive panelling, window shutters and intricately decorated ceilings.

To the rear is ancillary accommodation, with potential for holiday lets, subject to necessary consent.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press: One of East Dene's reception rooms.One of East Dene's reception rooms. (Image: Spence Willard estate agents)

Isle of Wight County Press:

The extensive grounds include a swimming pool and lawns that slope down to a paddock bordering the coastal path. 

East Dene "benefits from an excellent microclimate in an area hugely popularity in the Victorian era — regularly visited by the likes of Charles Dickens," say Spence Willard. 

"Many impressive Victorian villas were built at this time to combine the natural beauty and sea views, to form a delightful setting.

"This beautifully quiet and elevated south facing position is sheltered, with a backdrop of mature woodland and provides wonderful sea views."