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.


  • 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

    View Map

KIDS GO FREE

Exhibitions

Community Exhibition

18 February - 22 June 2023

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

The Club is delighted to have this opportunity to exhibit some of their members’ prints in the Dorset Museum together with an audio-visual presentation.

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Tours

21 March 2023, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Archaeology Highlights Tour

Explore archaeological treasures held by Dorset Museum – from Bronze Age gold to medieval silver -  in this volunteer-led tour.

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Special Exhibition

22 March - 25 June 2023

ARTIST ROOMS: Louise Bourgeois

Explore the work of Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010), one of the most important figures of modern and contemporary art. This spring Dorset Museum will show a major presentation of her work in this Artist Rooms touring exhibition featuring works jointly owned by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland.

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Dorset Museum Music Society

22 March 2023, 7:30pm

Cordiera Piano Trio

A varied programme ranging from J.S. Bach’s most revolutionary son to a vivid and exciting contemporary American work by way of two pillars of the standard chamber music repertoire.

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Museum after hours

23 March 2023, 5:00pm - 6:30pm

FREE | Museum After Hours

Join us for an opportunity to explore the Museum at this FREE late opening.

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FULLY BOOKED

23 March 2023, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Joanna Quinn in conversation with Tracy Chevalier

Spend an evening with Joanna Quinn and best-selling author Tracy Chevalier as they discuss Quinn’s debut novel, The Whalebone Theatre, a brilliant coming-of-age story set in Dorset before and during World War II.

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Special Event

24 March 2023, 6:00pm - 9:00pm

This is Now

The Friendly Society of Artistic Labourers and Dorset Museum invites you to a spectacular showcase of contemporary art, design, media, music, and performance. Inspired by…

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Tours

28 March 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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Workshop

1 April 2023, 10:00am to 4:30pm

One day life painting pose

This is a structured class that will take students through the traditional monochrome underpainting approach to painting the figure in oils. Same pose all day…

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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

March 16, 2023

Dorset Museum acquires rare gold and rock crystal pendant dating to the 6th or 7th century

Dorset Museum is delighted to announce that it has acquired a rare gold and rock crystal pendant dating to the 6th or 7th century…

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Projects

March 6, 2023

This is Now!

Working in partnership with Weymouth College and The Friendly Society of Artistic Labourers,’ This is Now’ explores Dorset Museum’s collection and looks at how creative…

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News

February 8, 2023

Free Wedding Fair at Dorset Museum this March

To help couples plan their forthcoming nuptials, the Museum is holding its Spring Wedding Fair on Sunday 5 March 2023, from 11:00…

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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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