Welcome

 

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.


Important Notice

On Friday 10 February 2023 Artist Dorset Gallery will be closed until 1pm and the Library will be closed all-day.

  • Opening hours:

    Daily: 9.00am - 4.30pm
    Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
    Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm

  • Admissions:

    Annual Pass or Day Entry available

    Book now
  • Dorset Museum

    High West Street
    Dorchester DT1 1XA

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Exhibitions

Community Exhibition

3 October 2022 - 8 February 2023

Unmasked

Unmasked is a local, voluntary project that began in the dark days of March 2020, when a new disease called COVID-19 literally stopped the world as we knew it.

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Special Exhibition

3 December 2022 - 26 February 2023

I Grew Up 80s

This winter visitors to Dorset Museum are invited to take a trip back in time with the nostalgia-filled exhibition I Grew Up 80s.

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Workshop

3 February 2023 - 10 March 2023, 10am -12.45pm

Drawing Into Life – 6 Week Creative Course with Helen Garrett

Winter can be a deeply creative time. We notice luminous landscapes, animals scuttling into their shelters or out searching for food, tempestuous weather patterns, colours, and endless changing skies.

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ArtyFacts Workshop

14 February 2023, 10:00am-12:00noon

I Grew Up 80s ArtyFacts

Use modelling clay, plasticine, and play dough to create your own 1980s inspired creatures.

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Tours

14 February 2023, 11:00am - 12:00noon

Dorset Museum Highlights Tour

Explore 250 million years of Dorset’s history in this volunteer-led highlights tour of Dorset Museum. Discover Roman mosaics, fossils from the Jurassic Coast, Thomas Hardy manuscripts and the sculptures of Elisabeth Frink – and plenty more along the way.

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After-hours relaxed opening

14 February 2023, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

FREE | After hours relaxed opening

Visitors can explore Dorset Museum during this relaxed opening for children with neurodiverse conditions and other sensory processing difficulties. Explore the exhibition and galleries with sound levels at a minimum and screens turned off. There will also be light-touch activities in the Learning Centre.

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ArtyFacts Workshop

16 February 2023, 10:00am-12:00noon

I Grew Up 80s ArtyFacts

Use modelling clay, plasticine, and play dough to create your own 1980s inspired creatures.

Find out more

Tours

16 February 2023, 11:00am - 12:00noon

Collections Discovery Centre Tour

Join our Collections Team for an opportunity to explore behind the scenes in the Museum’s Collections Discovery Centre.

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BREWDORCH

16 February 2023

Beer Masterclass

Sample 4 different beers !!! Delve into the wonderful world of craft beer and discover lots of different styles and tastes, plus enjoy some interesting facts and beer stories from our resident beer expert!

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Galleries

Venue Hire

Victorian-Hall-Wedding

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.

News

February 7, 2023

The Art of Seeing: An exhibition of photographs by Dorchester Camera Club

One Step Closer to Heaven by Tony Gill Dorchester Camera Club is presenting its The Art of Seeing exhibition at the Dorset Museum in Dorchester from…

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News

February 6, 2023

Dorset Museum to reunite Gainsborough husband and wife portraits

Portraits of Elizabeth and John Bragge by Thomas Gainsborough Dorset Museum is delighted to announce that it has taken guardianship of A Portrait of Elizabeth Bragge by…

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News

January 30, 2023

Dorset Museum celebrates winning four awards at Dorset Tourism Awards, including Gold for Accessible tourism

Staff and volunteers are celebrating after picking up four trophies at the 10th Dorset Tourism Awards held at the Tank Museum in Bovington last…

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News

November 29, 2022

Dorset Museum named finalist in four Dorset Tourism Awards

Dorset Museum has been named a finalist in four Dorset Tourism Award categories.   After their Silver Award in the 2021/22 Dorset Tourism…

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News

November 2, 2022

Kids Go Free Every Weekend

Dorset Museum is offering free children’s entry every weekend this Winter! Dorset Museum is allowing visitors to explore 250 million years of Dorset’s history with…

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News

November 1, 2022

Dorset Museum’s exhibition celebrating the popular culture of the 1980s opens this December

Visitors can explore a time capsule of over 200 objects on display. Visitors to the Dorset Museum in the county town of Dorchester are invited…

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Literature

September 28, 2022

Bridport Prize Black Writer Residency: Grace Peters Clarke

When I applied for the Bridport Prize Black Writer Residency, I was excited about the prospect of spending an entire week in the countryside, with…

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News

September 10, 2022

Book of Remembrance

Dorset Museum is deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96. Our thoughts…

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Appeal

August 9, 2022

Campaign to unlock Thomas Hardy archive

Dorset Archives Trust is leading a fundraising effort to permanently unlock the internationally significant, UNESCO-listed archive of author Thomas Hardy, gifted to Dorset Museum in…

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