Visit Roman Villa and Guildhall for free during heritage open days


The Museum of Island History at Newport Guildhall and Newport Roman Villa will be opening free of charge on set days in September.

The attractions are among more than 5,000 properties across the country to be opening their doors as part of Heritage Open Days 2018.

The Museum of Island History will be open for free on Thursday (September 6) between 10am and 2.30pm. The museum provides an introduction to Island history from fossils to festivals.

Newport Roman Villa. Credit Wikimedia Commons

Find out more about the Hidden Heroes of the Isle of Wight in its temporary exhibition, with more than 20 Island stories examined in the display.

Visitors’ archaeological finds can be examined by Frank Basford from the Portable Antiquities Scheme, while other artefacts found on the Isle of Wight can be viewed.

Newport Roman Villa in Cypress Road, Newport, will be open free of charge on Saturday (September 8) between 10.30am and 3pm.

Both days have been organised by the Isle of Wight Council’s Heritage Service.

Visitors will be able to discover a fascinating site hidden among a housing estate, featuring a Roman garden and museum display.

The villa was discovered in 1926 and has been described as ‘one of the best examples of Roman baths in Southern England’.

There is also an activity room to explore with hands-on tasks for families, including a picture hunt.

The site is only partially accessible to wheelchair users.

Councillor John Hobart, Cabinet member for environment and heritage said: “On behalf of the council’s heritage service, I would like to invite residents and tourists alike, especially if they have never been before, to come and visit our two sites and take the chance to find out more, for free, about the history of our Island community and culture.

“I’d like to thank our heritage service team for putting together some extremely interesting exhibitions, activities and events that people of all ages can enjoy during this annual event.”

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers.

Every year in September, places across the country open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history.

For more information please contact museums@iow.gov.uk or call (01983) 823433 or visit the website at www.iwight.com/museums