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)

User Login |

From our archives


Undermount is a large 19th century house in Bonchurch Village Road approached through a tunnel cut through sheer rock.  On top of this rock is a flagpole, known as Hadfields Look-out. This site was originally occupied by a farm. Undermount was the home of Sir John and Lady Pringle, who was Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria. They purchased Undermount in 1851 and made considerable improvements. The house is noted for its magnificent drawing room 41 ft x 28 ft x 18 ft with a beautifully carved and boldly panelled ceiling and a large central cameo representing Aurora. There was also a unique organ by Braceson & Ellis on which, reputedly, Edwin Lemare, first played Andante in C and later Moonlight and Roses. Undermount had a famous conservatory, after the style of Joseph Paxton (Crystal Palace) but this fell into disrepair and was dismantled in 1980s.  A modern replacement now adjoins the house.Read more...