30 Victoria Street
Isle of Wight
Open all day
The Volunteer is a Free House, situated in the seaside Victorian town of Ventnor, on the south-east coast of the sunny Isle of Wight. It was built in 1866 as a private residence, but became a beer house in 1869. It has been a pub ever since then and under the ownership of Tim Saul since 1993. Until 1960, it held a beer-house licence and was not able to sell spirits. A full licence was eventually granted in 1961, after the Burt's Brewery, then the owners, built a new toilet for the ladies! The pub passed through several hands and after a troubled period between 1989 and 1992 it was closed for 18 months. It lay empty and derelict until it was renovated with the aid of The Rural Development Commission and re-opened in October 1993. You can find The Volunteer in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2004 where it has been listed every year since 1994. During the last 6 years they have been runner up in the Isle of Wight CAMRA Pub of The Year Competition 5 times. In 2000 they gained third place which is again a great compliment from the Island's CAMRA members.
The building was constructed around 1866 by Mark William Norman of Ventnor and William Ford of Godshill, both in the Isle of Wight. The 1871 census records show the licensee was Cornelius Giles, whose wife, Louisa Mary Giles purchased the Inn on 23 June 1877, from the builders, William Ford and Mark Norman.
Mark Norman received the princely sum of ?280 for "all that piece of parcel of land or garden ground (part of field called Collins) which was formerly part of a certain farm called Ventnor Farm". The Indenture of Conveyance was dated 23 June 1877 and made between "William Ford of the first part, Mark William Norman of the second part, Cornelius Giles of the third part, Louisa Mary Giles of the fourth part and Richard King and Frederick Faker of the fifth part".
The Volunteer serve some of the best cask ales in town from their air-conditioned cellar and always have six real ales on hand pump, with the selection changing weekly. Six increases to ten during the annual Beer Festival in October (last week of October). Permanent resident ales are: Dorset Best 4.1%, Tanglefoot 5.0%; Ventnor Golden Bitter 4.0% (Ventnor Brewery 250 meters from The Volunteer). No food served here, but then there are no children (under 14) allowed, no fruit machines, no music, and no TV. Their second pub is The Blenheim, High Street, Ventnor. No accommodation here.
None as yet
up to 6 guest ales.
Ventnor Tourist Info