Museums and Groups in Isle of Wight

There are plenty of ways to get involved with the history and archaeology of the Isle of Wight. Why not visit a museum or join an archaeological society?

Selected Portable Antiquities Scheme finds, mainly Treasure items, are on display at the Museum of Island History and Newport Roman Villa.


Museum of Island History
The museum provides a fascinating exploration of Island history from the time of the dinosaurs to the present day.  Visitors can view objects highlighting the Island’s diverse historical past including hands on displays and the latest archaeological finds as well as visit a range of exciting, changing exhibitions throughout the year.

Carisbrooke Castle Museum
Carisbrooke Castle Museum is an Accredited local history museum run by an independent Charitable Trust, sited within a medieval castle in the care of English Heritage. It was founded in 1898 by HRH Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter.The Museum cares for some 27,000 items connected with the Isle of Wight, including social history, medieval history, King Charles I, ecclesiastical history, costume, military history, photographs, paintings, decorative art, ephemera, and documents. The Museum is currently hosting Wight at War, the official website for the commemoration of the centenary of World War I, which will run until 11 November 2018 after which it will be archived.

Cowes Maritime Museum
The Museum displays a selection of objects and images which help to tell the story of Cowes and its important maritime heritage. It is situated within Cowes Library which also houses a collection of maritime related books.

Brading Roman Villa
Brading Roman Villa is owned and operated by the Oglander Roman Trust (Registered Charity 1128326). It is a site of national importance  with well preserved mosaic floors and a collection of finds excavated from the villa.

Newport Roman Villa
Newport Roman Villa is a Scheduled Ancient Monument in the care of the Isle of Wight Council Heritage Service. The well-preserved remains at Newport Roman Villa provide a fascinating insight into country life in third century Britain. The Villa has a superb bath suite with under floor heating and remnants of mosaic floors. Sections of the Villa have been reconstructed to illustrate the building materials used; you can peep into a Roman kitchen and see a slave preparing a Roman feast. The villa has a hands-on activity room where you can make a mosaic, repair a broken pot or weave a blanket.  Discover the plants Romans would have used in the beautiful herb garden. You can find out more about the Roman occupation of the Isle of Wight by exploring the exhibition area, which displays artefacts found throughout the Isle of Wight.

Societies & Organisations

Isle of Wight Natural History & Archaeological Society
The society promotes the study of Isle of Wight natural history and archaeology, the conservation of its flora and fauna and the preservation of its archaeology and geology. It holds indoor and outdoor meetings where members can learn about natural history, geology and archaeology. It also carries out specialist recording, produces publications and holds an extensive Island database of species records.

Isle of Wight Young Archaeologists’ Club
Isle of Wight YAC is open to everyone aged 8–16 years. YAC clubs get involved in all sorts of activities, including visiting and investigating archaeological sites and historic places, trying out traditional crafts, taking part in excavations, and lots more.

Council for British Archaeology: Wessex
CBA Wessex is one of several regional groups affiliated to the Council for British Archaeology. It brings together people with enthusiasm for archaeology in Berkshire, the Channel Islands, Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, and Wiltshire, an area intensely rich in archaeological landscapes, sites and historic buildings. Our interests embrace all periods – from prehistory to the present day and include industrial and maritime archaeology. CBA Wessex arranges lectures, field visits, guided walks, study days and conferences and takes an active role in preserving and enhancing our heritage under the banner of Friends of Ancient Monuments (FOAM). We update our members on what is going on in the region in our twice yearly newsletter, our monthly e-newsletters and via our website.