Marine Villa, or as it was known then, “Green Tiles” was commissioned by the Caters, and was designed by local architect Ernest L Smith to take advantage of the superb vistas across Sandown Bay towards Culver Cliff. This magnificent villa was built in 1929 and takes full advantage of the cliff-top location, and is probably one of the Isle of Wight’s premium properties. This grand detached house has decadently proportioned rooms: all main living and bedrooms have large windows topped by stained glass detail, framing the vistas. Art Deco influences include an upstairs sun room with huge sliding picture windows to enjoy the breath-taking sunrises by day and bay illuminations by night.
Henry John CATER was a successful grocer/provisions merchant in East London owning a number of shops, run in part by his 5 sons. Following his death in 1919 the sons took over the business becoming CATER BROTHERS, and growing the business massively, still mainly in east and north London. His wife Clara CATER (nee SANDERS) and his daughter Clara Violet CATER moved to Shanklin, and David Waters, who provided this early information to us, has traced the property they lived in, and also a hotel that the daughter ran with her husband (She married William Edward HARDS in 1921). (both properties are in Victoria Road, and still exist as flats) “Greentiles” was built for Clara (mother) in 1929.
In 1933, Mrs Clara Cater passed away and the house was sold.
It would appear that the most influential owners of the House, were the colourful local characters H(orace) Terry Wood and his wife Sadie, who purchased the house and lived and partied there for many years. We know from local directories they certainly lived at the house in 1937/38 and during their tenure they renamed the house Villa Judapa, after their daughters Judith , Daphne and Pamela.
Sadie Wood installed a brick patio on the lawn facing the sea, two statues of the Great Dane dogs she had been raised with. In 2015 the current owners found two Great Dane statues on the mainland and hoping they might be something like the originals, installed them by the ponds in the gardens.
H Terry Wood owned the Shanklin brewery, several hotels on the island (including the Holliers) and most significantly, Shanklin Pier housing Shanklin Casino and concert theatre which hosted many evening entertainment events. It is documented in several books that the Terry Woods hosted many after-show parties at their home, entertaining stars of the time such as Arthur Askey, Jimmy Tarbuck and Tommy Trinder. It would follow therefore that internally, apparently they also had a deco bar installed, made of glass bricks which was illuminated by coloured lights!
It is not clear when the house was renamed Marine Villa, however we understand that by 1980, after her husband’s death, Sadie was still living the high life in but in a retirement home in Shanklin; so it was likely to be around that time. We hope to uncover more of their fascinating history over coming years. Here is an amusing report about Mr Terry Wood from 1937.
We believe the distinctive Art Deco ponds were actually added in the 1990’s according to the neighbours and some photos we received from a visitor from 1994 who kindly send us some photos.
Marine Villa was bought by Laurence Smith and Sharon Boyse-Smith in October 2014. It had already been available as a Holiday Let by the previous owners who undertook some excellent upgrading of the infrastructure of the property but it was being marketed as mainly a party house or simply a big house. As soon as Laurence and Sharon bought Marine Villa they set about changing the style of the house with greater emphasis on it’s historical legacy. Out went the IKEA furnishings and in came original furniture from the 1930’s with art and paintings from that era or in that style throughout the house.
A long term project, scheduled to last from 2015 to 2019 of redecorating the whole house, slowly and in between people staying on their holidays was embarked upon from May 2015. Each room being lovingly restored by master decorators, in colours and styles to emphasise the Art Deco styling. The giant Great Dane statues next to the ponds today were actually discovered in a garden centre in 2015 and lovingly rehomed at Marine Villa that summer.
2016 projects so far have included restoration of the original and beautifully engineered folding windows in the sun room, restoring the oak parquet flooring in the Drawing Room and soon the restoration of many of the 1930’s stained glass windows by an glass expert and the window surrounds by a craft joiner (plus some boring stuff like replacing double glazed units).
All income from the holiday lets is being invested in improving the house, so the photographs you see on this site are already out of date, as the changes happen every month, and will be never ending!