In Clarence's Time - Charles Lowe and the Casa Rosa

Skribita de Susie Bicknell on .

Susie Bicknell writes...Charles-Lowe-24996

I was looking through this website on famous people connected with Bordighera and came across this on Charles Lowe 1828-1909:
Born in Gibraltar in 1828, he dedicated to international trade with South America and managed to accumulate a considerable fortune. He moved to Bordighera along with the British colony who chose to stay in our city. In Bordighera he bought the 'Casa Rosa' (Pink House), a villa that had a small chapel.In October 1878 after having bought a land near the Anglican church he built the first tennis court in Italy, and founded the Lawn Tennis Club. In 1902, Lowe gave the City a land of 6,000 meters with the charge for common to operate in perpetuity of the land so donated to public gardens. Lowe, generous benefactor of the Anglican Church, gave the city land would arise where the Victoria Hall, the bowling and Tennis Club, he died on Easter day of 1909, to 81 years.

“Charles Lowe followed his father into the shipping trade, and such was his business acumen that he managed to amass enough of a fortune to enable him to retire from business life at the age of 48. It was 1876, and by this time the English had already  discovered the Italian Riviera and migrated there in large numbers. The idea of escaping the rigours of the English weather was appealing to Lowe, whose health was by no means robust, and he decided to join his compatriots in what was by now a sizeable ‘expat’ colony. He bought an unpretentious property called 'Casa Rosa', which contemporary reports describe as 'hardly more than a cottage'. However, he also bought a considerable area of land to go with it, most of which, in a spirit of pure philanthropy, he gave away to the local community over the following decades.”

So I presume Lowe sold the Casa Rosa to Rev Charles Fanshawe Walker.  It sounds as if he would have got on with Clarence :

“Charles Lowe had also given the land for a public garden in the centre of the town. This is known to this day as 'Giardini Lowe', and so many townsfolk have such happy childhood memories of playing there that it has its own Facebook page. It is the only example of his name being attached to one of his good works: this self-effacing man held no public office other than that of churchwarden at the church in Bordighera. His lifestyle was austere in comparison to that of those around him - he travelled second class rather than spend large sums on his own comfort. He treated his servants as friends and often referred to them as his 'faithful stewards', even arranging for his Bordighera gardener to come to England so that he could say farewell to him from his deathbed. It is no wonder then that his obituary in the Devizes & Wiltshire Gazette of 15th April 1909 describes him as 'an admirable type of man in the true sense of the word.' “

I don’t think so far any letters between Lowe and Clarence.

Cheers Susie


See also the posting here in the blog from February 2015..

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