Local History

Dorset people’s lives and beliefs, trade and industry, agriculture, rural crafts, schooling, transport, fishing and smuggling are all reflected in this fascinating collection numbering around 10,000 objects.

Christmas & New Year Opening Times 

Sat 24 December | CLOSED
Sun 25 December | CLOSED
Mon 26 December | CLOSED
Tues 27 Dec | OPEN, Bank Holiday hours
Wed 28 Dec | OPEN, normal hours
Thurs 29 Dec | OPEN, normal hours
Fri 30 Dec | OPEN, normal hours
Sat 31 Dec | OPEN – 9am to 3pm (early closing)
Sun 1 Jan 2023 | CLOSED
Mon 2 Jan | OPEN, Bank Holiday hours
Tues 3 Jan | OPEN, normal hours

dorset-museum-dog-collars

Local History

November 4, 2020

Brass dog collars

Reverend Thomas Warren, the Anglican vicar of Tolpuddle’s St John the Evangelist church, used these collars to identify his dogs. Warren witnessed an agreement over…

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dorset-museum-verwood-jugs

Local History

November 4, 2020

Costrel, Verwood pottery

Verwood produced many ceramic products. Their most famous was the Dorset Costrel – a flask with ear-like lugs, used by labourers for taking cider or…

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dorset-museum-Tolpuddle-trade-show-sign

Local History

November 2, 2020

Tolpuddle trade show sign  

The Fowl and Fatstock Show was a traditional event when farmers came to town to show off their market-ready birds and animals. People would travel…

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dorset-museum-objects-Deerstalker-hat

Local History

September 24, 2020

Deerstalker hat

Illicit deer hunting often took place in the evening when men ventured out wearing hats made of straw and bramble strips for camouflage. They also…

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dorset-museum-objects-Selection-of-Dorset-buttons

Local History

September 24, 2020

Selection of Dorset buttons

Dorset buttons were first produced in Shaftesbury in the early 17th century. By the 19th century over 100 different types of button were made in…

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dorset-museum-objects-The-Dorset-Ooser

Local History

September 24, 2020

The Dorset Ooser

Every year Morris dancers use this replica Ooser for their May Day celebrations on a hillside near Cerne Abbas. The monstrous mask has its origins…

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dorset-museum-objects-moule-earth-closet

Local History

September 24, 2020

Moule earth closet

Dorchester vicar Henry Moule (1801-1880) worked for better sanitation in the squalid slums of his Fordington parish. He invented this simple but effective composting toilet…

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dorset-museum-objects-Mosaic-fragment-Wimborne-Minster

Local History

September 24, 2020

Mosaic fragment from Wimborne Minster

Saint Cuthburga founded Wimborne Minster around 700 CE as a monastery for monks and nuns. This mosaic fragment is thought to come from her…

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dorset-museum-objects-Spitfire-goggles

Local History

September 24, 2020

Spitfire windscreen, goggles and microphone

Sgt Kenneth Christopher Holland served with Squadron 152 at RAF Warmwell in Dorset. On 25 September 1940, flying Spitfire N3173 he was shot down…

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