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

Madeira Hall

Madeira Hall in Trinity Road is believed to date from the 1820s when it was occupied by a Miss Dick, thought to have been the inspiration for Charles Dickens' character Miss Havisham in Great Expectations.  Miss Dick had been jilted at the altar and shut herself away, becoming a recluse. It was said that she lived in one room, had her meals lowered to her through a trap door (perhaps a dumb waiter), and took long walks in Bonchurch and Madeira Vale in the early  hours of the morning. Later, Thomas Babington Macaulay,  Politician, Historian and Essayist stayed at the house for several months during 1850 while writing a 'History of England' and in 1896 it was owned by Major and Mrs Bell, who were famous for the bicycle gymkhanas they held in the grounds at a time when cycling was becoming very popular.Read more...