Dimbola Museum & Galleries

Dimbola Museum & Galleries- Front of the House
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Home and workplace of the internationally acclaimed Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron.

A pioneer of photography as a fine art, Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) was a woman ahead of her time, renowned for her portraits of ‘famous men and fair women’, many of which were created at Dimbola. The house became of focal point for a crowd of bohemian artists, writers and poets, such as Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson, G.F. Watts and Lewis Carroll.

Visit us for:
- Year round exhibits celebrating Julia’s life and work
- Vintage cameras
- Programme of changing exhibitions
- Victorian dressing-up room
- Isle of Wight Festival displays
- FREE entry to the award-winning Tea Room and Museum Gift Shop

Lively programme of talks and events, check website for further information.

Coach parties, large groups and school parties are welcome, please book in advance.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Heritage site, Historic house or home

Opening hours

Summer Opening:7 days a week, 10am - 5pm from April to September.
Winter (October to March) Tuesday-Sunday 10am- 4pm
December & January hours may vary please see website for details www.dimbola.co.uk

Admission charges

Adults (Gift Aid) £6.00
Concessions (Gift Aid) £5.50 (Seniors and Students)
Children 5-17 years £2.50
Family (Gift Aid) £15 (2 adults, 2 children)
Friends of the JMCT, Art Fund and Museums Association FREE.
Groups of 10 or more £5 pp or £6 pp with introductory talk


  • Museums Association
  • National Art Pass

Additional info

Wheelchair access via tearoom. Stairlift for access to galleries upstairs. Disabled Toilet.

Original and/or unique photographic images, papers, cameras, books etc. relating to, associated with and illustrating the life and works of Julia Margaret Cameron, or to the life and works of the ‘Freshwater Circle’, or to the history of Dimbola Lodge.

Collection details

Social History, Photography, Personalities, Literature, Fine Art, Film and Media, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • photographic exhibitions; Julia Margaret Cameron; Isle of Wight Pop Festivals, past and present; famous contemporary photogaphers (e.g. Lord Snowdon); young and up-and-coming photographers; artists
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Festival 1970

Isle of Wight Festival Exhibition

  • 4 August 2011 — 4 December 2021 *on now

The first Pop Festival in 1968, which was held at Ford Farm near Godshill, featured such bands as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Fairport Convention and was organised to raise funds for a swimming pool locally in Freshwater.

This festival marked a turning point in UK music history. Two further festivals culminated in the huge 1970 event within sight and sound of Dimbola. This saw Jimi Hendrix’s last major performance and his last in the UK. Following a 32 year gap, the IOW festival was relaunched in 2002 and from then on to the present day the IOW festivals (now promoted by Solo Ltd) have been a huge success.

The display includes rare posters and photographs of these legendary festivals. One photograph in particular is a panorama from Afton Down which gives an idea of the audience of 600,000 who gathered to watch Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Taste, Miles Davis and Joni Mitchell to name a few.

Outside Dimbola there is a small memorial garden with a statue of Jimi Hendrix designed by sculptor John Swindells.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly


Admission fee applies



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Exhibition image

Robin McInnes: A Portrait of the Isle of Wight 1860 - 1950

  • 22 February — 14 April 2019 *on now

A major exhibition of photographs depicting the changing face of the Isle of Wight since the 1860s The photographs, which include countryside and coastal views, shipwrecks, transport and social scenes, are drawn from the collections of Professor Robin McInnes OBE of St Lawrence and Andy Butler of Ventnor. The images illustrate how the way of life of Island residents and the natural and built environments have changed over time.
The photographs are drawn from two large private collections spanning the period from the 1860s to the 1950s collected by Robin McInnes and Andy Butler over the last forty years. Professor Robin McInnes OBE is a coastal scientist, art historian and author. Andy Butler is a retired commercial fisherman and Past President of the IW Natural History & Archaeological Society.

This exhibition will be in the Olympus and Charles Hay Cameron Galleries.

The preview will be held on Friday 22nd February 12-2pm All welcome, refreshments all arrival, RSVP to elissa.blizzard@dimbola.co.uk

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17


£5.45 Standard Adult £6 Gift Aid Adult
£5 Standard Concession £5.50 Gift Aid Concession



Dimbola Museum & Galleries
Terrace Lane
Freshwater Bay
Isle of Wight
PO40 9QE

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014


General Information



Administrative Assistant



01983 756814

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.