Ventnor Heritage Centre

"To make the past present, to bring the distant near . . . to call up our ancestors before us with all their peculiarities of language, manners, and garb, to show us over their houses, to seat us at their tables, to rummage their old-fashioned ward-robes, to explain the uses of their ponderous furniture . . . " Thomas Babington Macaulay describing what the study of history can do (written in 1828)

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.
Read more about the Heritage Centre.


From our archives

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. You can pick out long lines of used costumes hanging up to dry in the sunshine further up the beach.Read more...

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