history museums in Isle of Wight
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Hampshire & The New Forest Area Hampshire & The New Forest Area Map of Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Museums & Galleries

including civic and independent art galleries and museums in Isle of Wight...

Museums long ago ceased to be stuffy rooms full of glass cases containing bits of old pottery and fossilised bones. Today even most conventional museums include changing displays but over recent years there has been a growth in industrial and "living" museums. Here you can learn about local heritage, get a feel for how people lived and worked, the hardships they endured...

Galleries listed include not just civic galleries displaying publicly owned artworks, but also privately owned galleries with items for sale.

Isle of Wight Museums and Galleries

blank tabTHE CLASSIC BOAT MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Columbine Road, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32&6RE
Establishment Photo
Based at East Cowes the Classic Boat Museum and Gallery is home to an brilliant collection of sailing and power boats, of both local and national interest. Our overall goal is to preserve and present the best boats that highlight the craftsmanship of past generations for the delight of modern day audience. This collection contains not only classic boats, but tools, artefacts, books, photography, film and archival items that relate to the history of boat building, sailing, yachting, cruising and racing over the last 100-years! Our boats also include an airborne lifeboat that was dropped to aircrew shot down during the last war, and several Uffa Fox designs, including Coweslip. All boats are in a seaworthy condition and are sailed/driven as often as possible. Some are available for special occasions.
Tel: 01983 533493
E-mail: tim.woodcock@uwclub.net
See our website

blank tabCOWES MARITIME MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Beckford Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Display features the maritime history of the Isle of Wight and includes models, paintings and photographic materials of yachting. Located within Cowes Public Library.
Tel: 01983 823433    Fax: 01983 823841
E-mail: museums@iow.gov.uk
See our website

blank tabMUSEUM OF ISLAND HISTORYMuseums & Galleries
The Guildhall, High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight

The museum traces island history using touch screen computer technology and hands-on exhibits.
Tel: 01983 823366    Fax: 01983 823841
E-mail: museums@iow.gov.uk
See our website

blank tabDINOSAUR ISLEMuseums & Galleries
Culver Parade, Sandown, Isle of Wight
Establishment Photo
Enjoy Britain's finest purpose built dinosaur museum. Exhibits to see, touch, smell, hear ... and some that move!
Tel: 01983 404344    Fax: 01983 407502
E-mail: dinosaur@iow.gov.uk
See our website

High Street, Brading, Isle of Wight, PO36 0DJ
Disabled Facilities

This cottage museum contains one of the finest and most comprehensive Private Collections of old and antique dolls and toys in Great Britain. With over 2000 exhibits on display dating circa 2000BC to 1950AD. The collection has been widely exhibited on BBC and ITV, and includes old toys, steam trains, tin cars & vans, dolls houses, teddy bears and German & French Bisque dolls. Our adjoining shop stocks a wide selection, including dolls houses and dolls house furniture, kits/accessories, limited edition teddy bears, china dolls plus various traditional toys.
Tel: 01983 407231
E-mail: lilliput.museum@btconnect.com
See our website

Old Town Hall, Newtown

c/o The Custodian, Ken Cottage, Upper Lane, Brighstone, PO30 4AT
Tel: 01983 531785     E-mail: oldtownhall@nationaltrust.org.uk

Old Town Hall Photo  Andrew McDonald
Old Town Hall, Newtown -
Photo: Andrew McDonald CCL


17th-century town hall with a fascinating history.

The small, now tranquil, village of Newtown once sent two members to Parliament and the Town Hall was the setting for often turbulent elections.

An exhibition inside depicts the exploits of Fergusons Gang, an anonymous group of Trust benefactors in the 1920's and 1930's.

Discount National Trust Membership

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Brighstone Shop & Museum

North Street, Brighstone, PO30 4AX
Tel: 01983 741020

Brighstone Photo  Andrew McDonald
Brighstone - Photo:
Andrew McDonald CCL


Row of attractive thatched cottages.

The vernacular cottages contain a National Trust shop and Village Museum (run by Brighstone Museum Trust), depicting village life in the late 19th century.

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Natural History Centre

High St, Godshill, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 3HZ
Tel: 01983 840046    Fax: 01983 840046
E-mail: curator@shellmuseum.co.uk

Famous sea-shell collection of over 40,000 sea-shells from both tropical and local shores. Man's use of shells from the beginning of time as tokens of wealth, love and ornamentation. The importance of the shell as a symbol used in many circumstances and still used today. Includes the worlds tiniest shell, most poisonous shell mollusc and the most beautiful shells.

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Ventnor Heritage Museum

11 Spring Hill, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 1PE
Tel: 01983 855407    E-mail: ventnorheritage@tiscali.co.uk

The Museum, with its unusual architecture, was built in 1905 as a furniture shop. This continued to the mid 1970's when it became a car showroom. The Ventnor and District Local History Society purchased the premises in 1987. Since that date the museum has held annual exhibitions every year. Apart from the exhibition hall, we also have an extensive archive section with many hundreds of items referring to Ventnor and the surrounding area.

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Guildhall Museum

High St, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1TY
Tel: 01983 823366    

Designed by John Nash and built in 1816, the historic Guildhall is home to the Museum of Island History and Newports Tourist Information Centre. Discover the Island from pre-historic past to the present day with: Touch screen computers, Hands on Exhibits, Quizzes and Games, Audio Experience, Microscopic Exploration.

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Quay Arts

Sea St, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5BD
Tel: 01983 528825    Fax: 01983 526606
E-mail: info@quayarts.demon.co.uk

The Quay Arts Centre is the Isle of Wights leading art gallery and venue for live arts events. It is situated in a converted 19th Century brewery warehouse complex pleasantly located at the head of the River Medina in the centre of Newport.

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Isle of Wight Studio Glass

Old park, St Lawrence, Isle of Wight, PO38 1XR

COME AND WATCH! Hand blown studio glass creating decorative and functional free blown glass vessels of all shapes and sizes. Sited along the famed and beautiful Undercliff on the south facing coast of the Isle of Wight. One-off designs, collections, corporate and commissions are produced and designed at the studio by International glassmaker Timothy Harris helped by his skilled teams of master-craftsmen.

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