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)

Volunteering Opportunities |

Volunteering Opportunities

Are  you interested in local history, working with people and becoming part of a team? The Ventnor Heritage Centre is run and managed by volunteers, and we are looking for people like you to help us.

We are currently looking for volunteers to help in the following areas – please get in touch if you think you might be interested in joining us.

‘Monthly Meeting’ Organiser:
Organises our monthly meetings and books speakers (more information).

Volunteer Coordinator:
Responsible for recruitment, training, induction and briefing of volunteers, and organises our rota of Heritage Centre ‘Stewards’ (more information).

Our stewards welcome visitors to the Heritage Centre and Museum; if you enjoy chatting with visitors and have an interest in history, this might suit you (more information).


If you think you might be interested in any of these opportunities, or would like to find out more, please contact us by emailing or by using our contact form, or by calling in to the Heritage Centre (we are open on Saturday mornings 10 am – 12.30 through the winter).

We would be delighted to hear from you!

Volunteer Jeff Mazo in the archive room
Stewards greeting visitors
The Heritage Centre stall on Ventnor Day 2017




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...