Blackall Simonds (1784-1875) retired from the Brewery in 1845. In 1846 he and his wife Emma Jane Usborne (1797-1885) moved to the Isle of Wight. The Hampshire Advertiser of October 31st 1846 reported that they had taken a lease on 10 Bridgstocke Terrace. The same paper reported on March 20th 1847 that they had moved to 1 Brigstock Terrace and confirmed that they were still there in April 1851. The Isle of Wight Observer shows that they had to move briefly to Hobarton House, Ryde, in January & February 1860.
Meanwhile he was building his 2nd ‘Caversham House’ in Dover Street, Ryde. The Isle of Wight Observer of March 24th 1860 now records them in their brand new home and in June 9th 1860 again shows them there, all under the heading ‘Fashionable List’ They must have lived in some style, because the census of 1861 shows 4 staff and of 1871 shows 5 staff were living on the premises.
Family folklore relates that Blackall was one of the early members of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, then located just West of Ryde Pier.
On his death in 1875 Emma lived there alone and became much involved in local charity projects, till her death in February 1885, when the house and contents were promptly sold. First the extensive contents in March:
Then the house itself in July, this is the Auction notice in the local paper, the Isle of Wight Observer.
It also merited its own poster:
Perhaps it failed to sell – because it came on the market again in 1886 and again in 1903.
The old house became a local school and was pretty much unchanged 100 years later in 1986 –
It was finally demolished in 1986 to make way for a new school building, this is the story.