Heritage sites are getting ready to open their doors as people discover the impressive buildings and cultural heritage of the Isle of Wight, as part of the national Heritage Open Days.

The free event, which is England’s largest heritage festival, will be held from Friday 10th September until Sunday 19th September.

To celebrate the event, the Isle of Wight Council’s heritage service will be offering free admission to 2 of its popular sites — Newport Roman Villa and the Museum of Island History.

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To help keep people safe on these special days, the sites will have a one-way system in operation, masks and social distancing will be encouraged, a QR code will be available for visitors to log their visit and numbers will be limited at busy times.

Free entry is being offered at Newport Roman Villa on Saturday 11th September, between 10:00 and 15:00 (last entry 14:30). Newport Roman Villa provides an excellent example of a 3rd century Roman farmhouse. The villa is nestled within a modern housing estate and provides a fascinating insight into Roman life on the Isle of Wight.

There will be a photo hunt for children to complete but please note the activity room will be closed on this day. The villa has a Roman style garden, a museum display area and a small shop.

There is also a display of some of the latest archaeological finds, all found on the Island.

Free entry will also be offered at the Museum of Island History on Tuesday 14th September, between 10:00 and 13:00. The Museum of Island History is situated within the historic Guildhall on Newport High Street.

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The museum provides an introduction to the history of the Isle of Wight and its current temporary exhibition is ‘A Tale of Two Shipwrecks’ which explores the tales of the wreck of the Pomone off the Needles, and the Yarmouth Roads wreck.

Corina Westwood, curator of human history, said:

“Our next temporary exhibition will focus around the history of Newport, its shops and markets.

“To help us prepare for this, we will be asking visitors on the day for memories of Newport past which we can share in this exhibition. The Newport exhibition will open in December 2021.

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“Come and meet museum staff who will be introducing the highlights of the museum, and bring along any archaeological finds to be identified by the Finds Liaison Officer.”

To find out more about Heritage Open Days, visit

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