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"

About Ventnor Heritage Centre |

About Ventnor Heritage Centre

Ventnor Heritage Centre, with its museum and archive, records how the town grew from a tiny fishing hamlet in 1840 to a fashionable Victorian resort complete with two railway stations and a pier, and how the villages of Bonchurch and St Lawrence became a favourite destination for writers and artists including Dickens and Macaulay. We have an extensive collection of photographs and documents, and books, prints and postcards are available for sale in our shop.  We are open all year – see Visit us for opening times, location and admission charges.

The Heritage Centre is also the headquarters of the Ventnor and District Local History Society.

We are involved in community events, providing talks and slide shows on local history, and local heritage walksl  We also take part in the Ventnor Carnival and Fringe programme – in 2017 we collaborated with Ventnor Guitar Group on ‘Playing with History’, and in 2016 we showed  ‘Ventnor Unseen’,  a compilation of archive film clips with a soundtrack specially provided by local artists, which included  ‘Storm of 87’ written and performed by Paul Armfield.

One of the most interesting parts of our work is collecting local stories and memories; you can see some of these by searching this website for ‘Your Stories’, and if you would like to contribute your own stories or photographs, please see our main Your Stories page.

The Ventnor Heritage Centre and Local History Society are both entirely run and managed by volunteers. If you think y ou might be interested in joining us, please have a look at our Volunteering Opportunities – we would be delighted to  hear from you!

 


Exhibitions, stories, images . . .

Rayner’s Hotel

Rayner's Temperance, Family and Commercial hotel used to stand on Victoria Street almost opposite the junction with Albert Street. It was popular and  well appointed, ran a special bus to meet visitors at Ventnor Station, and also provided a tennis court  and pleasure gardens for guests a few minutes away in Dudley Road (where the car park is now). The first telephone in Ventnor was said to be an 'acoustic' one connecting Rayner's Hotel in Victoria Street with Mr F Baker's Postingmaster's premises in Mill Street (now Pier Street). Damaged by enemy bombs in 1944, the hotel was demolished later that year. The site became a garage and later a supermarket.  

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