Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- East Cowes -
- Freddie Attrill Memorial -


Columbine Road, East Cowes, Isle of Wight

A stone carving, and plaque, in memory of Freddie Attrill, erected in 2009.

East Cowes Freddie Attrill memorial

East Cowes Freddie Attrill memorial
Photographs : courtesy of Antony Barton

The Shell House of East Cowes

One day in 1852, young Freddie Attrill was gathering shell-
fish on Osborne beach when another boy came along, told
him to clear off and kicked his bucket flying. Indignant,
Freddie gave him a thump - only to be told by shocked
attendants that he has just hit Albert Edward, Queen
Victoria's eldest son and heir to the throne. The Prince
hurried home to Osborne House, and soon a nervous Fred
was summoned there to answer Queen Victoria in person.

The Queen said, however, that her son's behaviour had
been quite wrong. She praised Freddie for standing up for
his rights and, some say, gave him several guineas in

Years later, Mr Attrill commemorated the incident by
decorating his house on Cambridge Road (just off the East
Cowes esplanade) with sea shells. Until the 1970s both
house and garden were quite a tourist attraction. Most of
the decoration has now gone, but even today one wall
shows a sailing ship ploughing through the waves - all done
in shells.

Sculptor : Glyn Roberts

For more information,
Please contact the East Cowes Heritage Centre.

Further Information

Frederick James Attrill was born in 1839 in Arreton, the son of James and Elizabeth Attrill. In the Census returns we find him at :

1851 : Church Road, East Cowes (age given as 11, Scholar)
1861 : 19 Church Road, East Cowes (age given as 21, Seaman, Merchant Service)
1871 : 18 Church path, East Cowes (age given as 30, General Lab.)
1881 : (no address given), East Cowes (age given as 40, Gen. Lab.)
1891 : Myrtle Cottages, Cambridge Road, East Cowes (age given as 50, General Labourer)
1901 : 2 Myrtle Cottage, Cambridge Road, East Cowes (age given as 62, General Labourer)
1911 : Myrtle Cottages, Cambridge Road, East Cowes (age given as 72, Jobbing Gardener)

Frederick Attrill died in 1926; his age was given as 88 in the register of deaths.

See The Shell House - photographs on Flickr

East Cowes Shell House today

The Shell House today


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