Ventnor Heritage Centre

"To Collect, Record and preserve the rich heritage and history of Ventnor and surrounding villages, and share it with local and wider communities"

Ventnor Heritage Centre Publications |

Ventnor Heritage Centre Publications

Ventnor Heritage Centre has a range of books and pamphlets (see list below) on the history of Ventnor and the surrounding villages.  These are on sale in the Museum shop, and can also be supplied by post.

Ordering publications to be sent by post:
The cost of postage is shown in the list below.
Please send your order, including your name, address, contact phone number or email and a cheque or postal order made out to VDLHS to: Publications, Ventnor Heritage Centre, 11 Spring Hill, Ventnor PO38 1PE
Orders can also be made online with payment made by bank transfer (contact us for details).



Here Layeth – Memorials at St Boniface Old Church, by Joan Gordon (£3.45 including post & packing)
Inns & Ale – Bonchurch to Chale, by Vincent Chambers (£2.50 including post & packing)
Wight Wildlife, by Jim Knighton (£2.50 including post & packing)
The Undercliff Isle of Wight, Michael Freeman (£9.50 plus £2.50 post & packing)
Ventnor Isle of Wight – The English Mediterranean, Michael Freeman (£9.50 plus £2.50 post & packing)
Victorians in Search of Winter Health, Michael Freeman (£9.95 plus £2.50 post & packing)



Spiral Bound Booklets – £4.00  (plus post and packing £2 each)


The French Attack on Portsmouth 1545

In the summer of 1545, King Henry VIII, already at war with France, heard that the French might soon attack him in England. Portsmouth was a target, along with the Isle of Wight, and the English fleet was hard pressed. This booklet, researched and written by C.T. Witherby (author of The French Attack on Bonchurch 1545) was never published in his lifetime. Vi Vokes, who has now prepared it for publication, introduces it: Since the raising of the Mary Rose a great deal has been written and published about her. This booklet, however, is about just one of the attacks on the Isle of Wight. Hopefully, for visitors to the Island it will provide something of interest between the Romans and buckets and spades; and for those who live here the thoughts of what happened in their backyards.

It used to be like this . . .
by George R Haynes

George Haynes was born in 1906 in Beach Cottage in Castlehaven, where his family were fishermen who also ran the beach, hiring bathing huts and bathing costumes out to  summer visitors.  He died in 1984, but left a typescript describing life in Niton Undercliff in the first half of the last century, saying I have written all that I thought should be recorded before it is completely forgotten, about things that are now totally gone. It records in fascinating detail the day to day life of the time – fishing, schooldays, working in the ‘big houses’,  transport – even the weekly horror of ‘washday’.



Spiral Bound Booklets – £3.00 each (plus post and packing £1.50 each)

Carnival! (The story of Ventnor Carnival)
Conflict and Conflagration
Old Men Remember
Paddling to Ventnor Pier
RAF Ventnor – The Cold War Years
A Seaside Story
Ventnor Breweries
A Winter Sanatorium – While I Breathe I Hope



Ventnor & the Undercliff / Ventnor No Finer Place (£8.95, plus post and packaging £1.50)


Society Local History Pamphlets (A4)

We have many pamphlets written over the years by Society members on specific topics. A full list of titles is available in the museum, and copies can be printed to order, price £1.50 each plus postage and packaging £1.50.

Exhibitions, stories, images . . .

Ventnor Bay in the 1890s

The spectacular sight of Ventnor's ascending terraces in the early 1890s, as viewed from the pierhead. Bathing machines are lined up along the water's edge for this was a time when it was forbidden to enter the sea any other way. Machines were hired along with an attendant and a costume, the ladies segregated at some distance from the gentlemen.