Heritage Open Day

Dorchester Heritage Open Day

18 September 2022

Each year, places across the country throw open their doors and give people the chance to see hidden places and try new experiences for free.

This year’s theme is ‘Astounding Inventions’. This provides a great opportunity to explore the many innovations inspired by local people.

The event coincides with the 400th anniversary of the Dorchester Brewhouse set up in September 1622 to provide a welfare system via a tax on beer and Dorchester’s 21st-century Brewhouse & Kitchen has created a special “Heritage” beer to mark the occasion.

Visit St Peter’s church to find out about Rev John White, the “Patriarch of Dorchester”, who set up the Brewhouse and the Massachusetts Bay Company to settle America, and William Barnes, local polymath and dialect poet. Visit the Shire Hall Museum to hear about the Tolpuddle Martyrs who inspired the trade union movement and Keep Military Museum to explore innovation through military history and enjoy displays from Nothe Fort Garrison.

Demonstrations of flint knapping, pottery, tin casting, and jewellery-making can be seen at the Roman Town House, where the Portable Antiquities Scheme will be encouraging people to bring in their finds and artefacts.

Visit the Corn Exchange to see “Galpin’s Folly” and find out about Martha Brown at Dorchester Prison.

Where did Sir Frederick Treves, developer of the appendectomy live? Who invented the first composting toilet? Answers can be found at Dorset Museum, on the guided tours of the town, or from the living history displays in Nappers Mite. Visit KeeP 106 at the town pump to send morse code messages, pick up an activity sheet and decipher the naval flags on display around the town.

FREE EVENT – Something for all the family

Important Notice

On 10 February 2023
Artist Dorset Gallery
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

    View Map


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