On the site of a Palace of Varieties, built in 1868 as a hotel and music hall, the Centre tells the story of Blue Town from the 17th to the 21st century by focusing on its maritime, military and social history. In World War One the original building was bombed during the Gotha air raid of 1917, the same year that the music hall closed.

In 2009 a group of volunteers began the restoration of the music hall and the creation of a Heritage Centre: it became a registered charity in 2010.

Consisting of 3 floors, the Heritage Centre presents the history of Blue Town, including Sheerness Dockyard, and is home to the restored Criterion Music Hall: a venue where you can enjoy a range of entertainments from live shows to big screen cinema with films showing every Friday.

The centre is self-financing through income raised from entertainment, and other events, and is run by a team of around 30 volunteers.

Educating, entertaining and enthusing visitors about the history of the area is the centre’s aim. Walks, tours and talks, delivered by knowledgeable guides, are offered and can be integrated with entertainment and refreshments. 

The popular Tea Room offers a range of refreshments, including the speciality cream tea which also features in the interval of all Music Hall shows. 

A well-stocked gift shop, with a wide selection of books and pamphlets produced by the centre, is also available.

The centre welcomes school parties, history groups, visitors from care homes and individuals; there is easy access for those with disabilities.

We are part of the Wheels of Time Scheme, the Big Weekend and Heritage Open Days. Among events we have hosted are conferences, film events, craft fairs, wedding receptions, family parties and sleepovers for cubs. 

The holder of 2 Certificates of Excellence from Tripadvisor, and several other awards, the centre is proud to have the entertainers Jess Conrad OBE and Paul Harris as our patrons.

A major refurbishment is underway at present which will provide a newly restored museum, a dedicated research room and increased display areas. It will be ready for early summer 2018.

Open: Tues – Sat 10.00 am – 3.00 pm 

Extended opening times available for parties.