This map is labelled “Osborn Farm in the Isle of Wight, belonging to Brydges Blachford Esquire, surveyed in September 1734 by James Williams”.
The Blachfords acquired the estate in 1705, through their links to the Mann family.
Brydges Blachford was the grandfather of Barrington Pope Blachford, whose widow sold the estate to Queen Victoria in 1845. A later version of the Blachford’s house was the Royal Family’s home on the Island until the new house, designed by Prince Albert and Thomas Cubitt, took shape.
The map is full of interesting details. The house at Osborne is shown alongside cows and sheep which appear to be even larger than the property. An avenue of trees leads to the main house, and nearby are farm buildings raised above the ground on staddle-stones. These protect the grain and other goods from rats and mice, and stop the crop from becoming damp.
Elsewhere a surveyor is depicted. He wears a long buttoned coat and holding a pair of surveyor’s compasses. Offshore there is a three-masted ship under sail and next to it the family coat of arms. Much of the Blachford wealth came from their business as merchants, which included involvement in the slave trade.
Several interesting details from the map can be see in the "Gallery" section.
Although the Isle of Wight’s butter and cream were popular, the quality of the cheese was notorious in the 18th century. Isle of Wight Rock “can scarcely be cut by a hatchet or saw.”
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