Egypt House. Situated in an area previously called West Cliff, also the most northerly part of the Island.
William Grossmith leased the Egypt Cliff Estate from the Mount Edgcumbe family for 99 years in April 1762, so it is thought that Grossmith had the original Egypt House constructed between 1769-1775. A large L-shaped asymmetrical house with tower. Built of red brick with tiled roof. Two storeys and seven windows to front elevation, four to east Wing. The front elevation has buttresses, a cornice of bricks set diagonally, a crenellated parapet with crockets at intervals, and an off centre triangular gable with two storey canted bay below. Windows are mullioned with transomed casements and some of the ground ﬂoor windows have hood mouldings. The right side elevation has a porch with a crenellated parapet and a four-centred archway. Left side has a three-storey tower.
During the early 1800’s it was owned by Thomas Tancred but there are reports of many of the gentry spending the sailing season here, including William IV and Jolm Lambton (the Earl of Durham) who died here in 1840 having spent some of the previous ten seasons in residence here. Around 1857 the property was purchased and enlarged by Robert White, who started an academy for the sons of noblemen and gentlemen, preparing them for the army, navy, church and the civil service. White died in 1862, but the Rev. Arthur Watson continued the academy, marrying White’s daughter Caroline at Holy Trinity Church in 1864. In 1874 they moved to the newly built Grange in Baring Road, and Egypt House became the residence of Captain Ward, who occupied the house when Northwood House was given to the town of Cowes, in 1929.
A certain Miss Clementine Hozier was staying as a guest during Cowes Week 1908 when she received an invitation from a fellow reveller to visit his ancestral home, Blenheim Palace; shortly after this visit Winston Churchill made a formal proposal of marriage. The rest is history.