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)

Visit Ventnor Heritage Centre |

Visit Ventnor Heritage Centre

Ventnor Heritage Centre is at 11 Spring Hill, in the centre of the town, opposite the Central Car Park. The Museum is accessible for wheelchair users.

Opening times:

May to October:
Monday to Friday: 10 am to 4 pm. Saturday: 10 am to 12.30 pm

November to April:
Open on Saturday morning only: 10 am to 12.30 pm

Museum Admission: £2 (no charge for accompanied children under 16). Admission is free to members of the Ventnor & District Local History Society.

Group visits: We can arrange for group visits outside our normal opening hours and are willing to arrange local heritage tours or off-site visits and displays. Please contact us if you are interested.

Tel 01983 855407 (no answerphone – we can only take phone messages on Saturday mornings in the winter)

From our archives

Old Park, St Lawrence

The  house is thought to date back to 900 AD, and  may have been a hunting lodge. 1309 – Charter for hawking at St Lawrence Park.  At one time there was a mill below the house with a large lake. 1740 – Present house built. 1820 – Thomas Haddon was the owner.  He converted the house for use as a country residence, and it was visited by Queen Victoria. 1865 – A new wing was added to the house.  Sir John Cheape owned the property, and he also installed central heating and plumbing. (There were three taps in bathroom - one labelled 'Hot', one 'Cold' and one 'Rainwater.) 1883 – Walter Spindler owned the house. He imported and planted a million trees on the Old Park Estate in Whitwell Parish, and had water pumps  erected in Whitwell for the people living there to use. Sarah Bernhardt, a famous actress, visited – she had a liaison with Mr Spindler, who painted her portrait. In its latter days it was owned by Thornton Family, and the 'Bird Park' and Glass making factory were on the estate.Read more...