Who lived in Mill Hill Road, Cowes?


The first house built around the 1880s housed William Henry a retired master mariner and his wife from Lymington. After William’s death, his wife remained until a marine engineer Andrew Whyte and his wife moved in in the 1910s and remained until at least the time of the 2nd WW.


The second house is the oldest built in the 1860s and housed many different families. Its first documented occupants were George May who ran a sizeable ironmongery and ship chandlery business, his wife and four children. In 1881 Frederick Rutland an organist and professor of music from Winchester lived there with his wife and 3 children and in 1891 Thomas Sibley a grocer from Cowes lived there with his wife, son and a servant. In 1901 Francis Smith, a retired nautical from Wilsthire, a housekeeper and his granddaughter lived there. By 1911 a widow from Australia Mary E Dryland lived there with her son William, a marine engineer and 2 other children.


The two pairs of semi detached houses were built around 1900.


The 3rd house’s occupants were George Howell a master mariner from Cowes, his wife and several children and at the time of 2ndWW, Alfred Hawkins lived there with his wife Alfreda.


In the 4th house, a yacht master John Carter from Suffolk initially lived with his wife and daughter. In 1911, William Taylor a marine engineer and his wife and family lived, and later, coincidently a different John Carter, a retired master mariner lived with with his wife and family.


Harry Earnest Sheath, a plater working at Whites Shipyards. moved into the 5th house with his wife Elizabeth and 3 children. A lodger working in insurance also lived with them. Within a year Elizabeth had died aged just 29 and in 1905, Harry married Ethel, a dressmaker and continued to live there until they moved to a bungalow in Park Road where he died in 1953. A gardener Joseph Withecombe lived there with his wife and son in 1939.


In the 6th house, Edward J Watts, a painter lived with his wife Jane, son and daughter from at least 1901 until 1939.


Please read more about the history of Cowes buildings with more illustrations on our page Cowes History.

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