The Brighstone Village Museum opened in 1994 through voluntary effort
and the valued help of The National Trust, which made part of its cottage
premises available for use as a display area.
The museum depicts aspects of life in Brighstone during the latter part
of the nineteenth century. Around a central tableau representing cottage
life are display cases and panels depicting local schooling, employment,
coastal activities and the influence of the church during the Victorian
From Museum leaflet :
"Some men earned their living from fishing, but not all activities
in Brighstone Bay were entirely legal. Incomes were often supplemented
by the proceeds from liquor smuggling from the continent. Stories abound
of such exploits which enjoyed much collusion from the villagers.
Shipwrecks were common along the off-shore rock ledges during south-westerly
storms. In 1860, two lifeboat stations (RNLI) were established on local
shores - one at Grange, about a mile from here, and one at Brook, two
miles further" up the coast. A third was established at Atherfield,
about two miles down the coast, in 1890.