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)

About Ventnor Heritage Centre |

About Ventnor Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre, with its museum and shop, 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 walksl  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; you can see some of these by searching this website for ‘Your Stories’, and if you would like to contribute your own stories or photographs, please see our main Your Stories page.

The Ventnor Heritage Centre and Local History Society are both entirely run and managed by volunteers. If you think y ou might be interested in joining us, please have a look at our Volunteering Opportunities – we would be delighted to  hear from you!


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...