Welcome to Dorset Museum, a place to connect with 250 million years of Dorset’s history.
We invite people from everywhere to discover and enjoy the richness of our county’s natural, historical and cultural heritage through our world-class collections.
We believe everybody will find something here to interest, fascinate or inspire them. We hope it will ignite you with an appreciation of our county and a desire to explore it.
About the Museum
Dorset Museum is cared for by the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, an educational charity and custodians of four million objects in the Museum’s collection.
Daily: 9.00am - 4.30pm
Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Annual Pass or Day Entry availableBook now
Dorset MuseumHigh West Street
Dorchester DT1 1XA
Make a donation
Your donations allow us to conserve and research Dorset’s most extensive historical collectionsDonate Now
22 January to 30 October 2022
Take a fresh look at the Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, in the stunning Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. His story will be retold in exciting new ways by our museum collections, from period costumes to personal letters, art to archaeology.
Plastics are not Fantastic
20 June – 16 September 2022
In this exhibition students from Weymouth College express their thoughts about the environment through posters, pledges and artwork.
To raise awareness of the ongoing climate emergency 64 students contributed ideas and created posters during the 2021 COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow. A selection of posters, artwork and posters are on display.
28 May – 30 October 2022
Take a fresh look at the Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, in the stunning Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. His story will be retold in exciting new ways by our museum collections, from period costumes to personal letters, art to archaeology.Find out more
17 June - 11 July 2022, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Hardy’s Wessex: Drawing on the ancient past
This six-week course led by artist Helen Garrett will take you on a creative journey through Thomas Hardy’s work, inspirations and Dorset Museum’s collections.Find out more
20 June – 16 September 2022
Plastics are not Fantastic
In this exhibition students from Weymouth College express their thoughts about the environment through posters, pledges and artwork.Find out more
9 July 2022, 10:30am - 12:00noon
Roman Town House Tours
A guided tour of one of the best examples of a Roman Town House in England.Find out more
10 July 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Have fun with stencils and create your own printed fabric based on flowers and natural forms in our Dorset artist and Natural Dorset galleries.Find out more
20 July 2022, 7:30pm
Victoria Sayles and Kirsty Barry
A visit from two musicians with strong local connections. Violinist, Victoria (Dorchester born and bred) now enjoys an international career having recently been appointed leader of the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra while Pianist, Kirsty will be remembered as a former member of staff at Thomas Hardye School.Find out more
21 July 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Museum after hours
The Home of Hillforts and Henges event to celebrate our local heritage landscape will launch at Dorset Museum with a special open evening: Museum after hours.Find out more
21 July 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
The Ridgeway Vikings: New research and findings | Heather Tamminen
Using modern digital technology, the sharp force of trauma on these individuals has been reappraised to see what new information can be learned.Find out more
22 July 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
The Extraordinary Prehistoric Landscape Under Your Feet And Up The Hills | Steve Wallis
In this talk Steve Wallis is to explore the prehistoric landscape of the Dorchester area, covering the changes over time and the different types of monuments and remains.Find out more
Dorset Museum is the perfect venue to hold any corporate or private events. Offering exclusive hire the wonderful spaces and facilities we can create the perfect setting tailored directly to your needs.
The committed bookings and events team are highly experienced in managing and holding a variety of events, from small conferences to evening parties, and are available to assist with any queries you may have.
June 22, 2022
Home of Hillforts and Henges
Home of Hillforts and Henges is an exciting new event from 21st to 31st July that will celebrate Dorchester’s neolithic and iron age landscape,…Read more
June 17, 2022
Community Quilt Making Project
We are currently undertaking a community quilt project in relation to Antje Rook’s “A virus a day” quilt which was on display in the community…Read more
May 27, 2022
Hardy’s Wessex Exhibition opens on Dorset Museum’s one year anniversary.
Dorset Museum’s new exhibition, Hardy’s Wessex: The Landscapes that Inspired a Writer, opened last night at a VIP and Members preview evening. The exhibition opens to the…Read more
April 28, 2022
P J Harvey visits Dorset Museum and gifts Orlam proofs and exclusive photograph to collection
The Dorset-born singer-songwriter, musician and poet, has visited Dorset Museum ahead of the publication of her Dorset dialect narrative poem Orlam. Dorset Museum Interim…Read more
April 27, 2022
Bridport Prize Black Writer Residency winners at the Dorset Museum
Grace Peters-Clarke and Stephenjohn Holgate from Birmingham recently arrived in Dorchester for a visit ahead of their residencies in April and June as winners of…Read more
April 22, 2022
Dorset Museum to display star painting from Victoria and Albert Museum
A star object from the Victoria and Albert Museums collection is due to go on display in a new exhibition being held at Dorset Museum.Read more
April 20, 2022
Awards Success for Dorset Museum!
Dorset Museum had a busy day on Thursday 7th April 2022 with award wins in both the South West Tourism Awards and the Dorchester and…Read more
March 14, 2022
Artwork that became an inspiration during the coronavirus pandemic is on display at Museum
A Virus a Day is an exhibition of textile art by Antje Rook which tells a personal story of living with the Covid-19 pandemic.Read more
March 8, 2022
Solidarity with Ukraine
Dorset Museum stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and supports them in their fight to preserve their independence. As museum workers, we support…Read more
Become A Member Today!
Become a member of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society today and get a deeper insight into 250 million years of Dorset’s history, while you help protect its rich heritage for future generations.