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 our Visit us page 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 walks.  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;  if you would like to contribute your own stories or photographs, please contact us.

If you think you might be interested in working with us in the Ventnor Heritage Centre, please have a look at our Volunteering Opportunities – we would be delighted to  hear from you!

 


Exhibitions, stories, images . . .

Exhibition: ‘Once upon a time there were trains’

Ventnor once had two railway stations. And for something like 100 years, trains were the primary means by which visitors arrived in the town. The main line came in via a long tunnel under St. Boniface Down. It linked the resort with Ryde and the towns along the east side of the Island. The second line came from Newport and Merstone, terminating at a station behind Steephill Castle. The photograph here is of a Beyer Peacock 2-4-0 tank loco on the turntable at Ventnor’s main station circa 1910.

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