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)

Your Stories: Local Voices |

Your Stories: Local Voices

Stories of ‘How it was then’ are always fascinating, as well as being  valuable records of the past which need to be kept safe for future generations.

We would like to hear from anyone who has memories of growing up, living and working in the Ventnor area  in the past.  We are particularly interested in memories of the hurricane of October 1987, when houses in Ventnor lost their roofs, families huddled together through the storm, and the Botanic Garden lost many of its trees.  We are also collecting stories of ‘Growing up in Lowtherville’.  But any memories of life as it was in this part of the Island are valuable and very welcome.

If you search this website for ‘Your Stories’ you can see some of the stories that we have collected.

Please get in touch if you have memories you would be happy to share with us – ring us (01983 855407) or drop in to the Heritage Centre, or write to us, or send us an email (

Or if you are  happy to, please write it all down fill in the form below, and upload any photographs you are happy to share.


From our archives

Daniel Day and Family

Daniel Day was born in Whitwell in 1814.  His father, Stephen,  was a stonemason who was later employed in building Steephill Castle and Cove Cottage in Belgrave Road in 1828.  In 1832 he was killed in an accident at the Castle, when he was struck by a block of stone falling from the building. Daniel also became a stonemason and continued the family business in Ventnor and built many of the early houses at the time when the town started to grow. In about 1840 he partnered Jonathan Jolliffe in building the many fine villas which sprang up in Bonchurch after the building ban was lifted by Act of Parliament in 1938. They also built the new church in 1849.  Properties from this era in Bonchurch today are a lasting testament to Mr Day's workmanship. He built Elm Cottage in the main village street.  It was to become the family home for various members of the Day family for about 150 years.  It was renamed 'The Croft' and still bears that name today.  Daniel later lived at 'Wykeham Cottage' in Upper Bonchurch.  Three of his children lived at 'The Retreat' at the top of Bonchurch Shute. In 1894 the firm of Daniel Day …Read more...