Olivia Parkes

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Olivia Parkes
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OccupationEccentric Recluse

Olivia Parkes (1881-1962) was a citizen of Ventnor, Isle of Wight, UK. She was known for being an eccentric recluse who lived in a run-down boat house on stilts in Myrtle Bay, West of the main town. She lived in this unusual abode for decades, even defying wartime restrictions on access to the beach. The townsfolk knew her as "Britannia". [1]

In 2022-23 local historians made an investigation of the history, compiling known facts about her life and interviewing locals who were alive at the time [2]. She occupied the boat house in 1927 and became a recluse, causing many invented stories to be suggested such as that she was waiting for a lost love to return. In 1958 the council forcibly rehomed her to a flat in the town. In 1959 the boathouse was demolished by a family of local longshoremen. [3]

Miss Parkes died in Ventnor in 1962.


  1. Thank You Hermann Goering: The Life of a Sports Writer. Brian Scovell. Amberley Publishing, 2010.
  2. Olivia: Sorta thing. Magazine. Teresa Grimaldi and Sarah Vardy, 2023.
  3. Britannia’s Hut being dismantled by Blakes, Longshoremen, 1959 - VENTNOR & DISTRICT LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY [1]

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