Northwood House, a magnificent Grade II* listed late Georgian manor house set in a 20 acre park, is the main venue and weekend box office for the Literary Festival. Occupying a prime position above Cowes, the star listing is for the House’s incredible painted function rooms where the talks take place.
Purchased by George Ward in 1793 and extended and improved by his heir, George Henry Ward, the House has a varied and interesting past including hosting elaborate entertainments for royalty and Victorian history, serving as a convent and acting as a convalescent VAD hospital in the First World War. The House and Park were gifted to Cowes Urban District in 1929. Today the estate is the responsibility of Northwood House Charitable Trust Company Limited.
Home of the Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, which was founded in 1897, Trinity Theatre is a favourite venue for the Festival. With seating for 199, the Theatre has a bar and a social area.
At one time a church hall for Holy Trinity Church, the building was purchased in 1979 by the Billing Trust. The trust had as its object the establishment of an amateur dramatic theatre. The near derelict building, which was adapted as a theatre for stage performances, was sold to CAODS in 1983.
Cowes Yacht Haven
Northwood House Youth Zone
Follow the procession of excited children and their adults through the archway and up the steps to the right of the Rotunda entrance of Northwood House to enter the magical Youth Zone. Located amongst the mature trees and spacious lawns of Northwood Park, this specially designed space comprises the Imagine Yurt, the Inspire Yurt and the Entertain Hall.
The bumper bundle of very special events designed for the younger audience aged 4 – 13 years includes the opportunity to invent their own magic, puppets and fairy doors in making and drawing workshops. Storytellers will enthral; plays will entertain; and competition winners will shine in this enchanting kingdom.
On Saturday evening from 19.00 the Entertain Hall is transformed for audiences aged 13+ by the energy and enthusiasm of the island spoken word and poetry performers in the Spoken Word Showcase.