The Isle of Wight Observer August 18, 1855
Col and the Lady Catherine Harcourt entertained at a promenade reception about 200 of the leading gentry of Ryde and its vicinity at their marine residence, St Clare, on Thursday. Shortly after two o’clock the company began to arrive and soon after, the grounds clad in verdant green with their parterres filled with beautiful flowers, presented a splendid appearance. The weather was magnificent, and the beautiful breeze as it wafted around was extremely refreshing. The band of the Royal Marines was in attendance, and played a good selection of pieces. Marquees were placed on the grounds with every luxury which could be desired, including the choicest of exotic fruit. Great disappointment, however, was experienced as the Queen, who was expected, did not come. After the departure of the numerous guests, the Colonel and the Lady Catherine entertained The Hon Mr and Mrs A Court Holmes, and Mr and Mrs Hambrough at dinner. We are much pleased in having to announce this, the first great party of the season, and regret that there was not sufficient time to enable us to give the list of those present.
Ryde has at last assumed its wonted aspect; hotels and lodging-houses are exceedingly well filled; the roadstead is studded with yachts, and the Club-house is filled with visitors; the pier is thronged for its delights – sea breezes and marine and land views; coaches and crowded with tourists, while our excellent carriages are whirling about in all directions with pleasure parties who enjoy the rural scenes in our environs; bathing is resorted to as usual; while an air of activity pervades the whole town. On Monday next, too, the Theatre opens for general amusement.
St Clare, which was at Appley, was demolished in 1945.