Museum after hours
Museum after hours
19 May 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Join us for an opportunity to explore the Museum and galleries in our free monthly late opening.
The Victorian Hall will be hosting a private event on Friday 10th June 2022, all day and Saturday 11th June 2022, 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and therefore will be closed to visitors.
Daily: 9.00am - 4.30pm
Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Dorset MuseumHigh West Street
Dorchester DT1 1XA
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Sweep through around 500,000 years of people’s history, from the Palaeolithic to the present day, on Dorset’s key themes of land, sea and community. Marvel at objects from some of Britain’s most important archaeological sites, from spectacular Bronze Age gold and finds from Maiden Castle – one of Britain’s largest Iron Age hillforts – to treasures from Roman Dorchester. Let your fingers walk Dorset’s ancient landscape on a large touchscreen. Then head forwards in time to see the belongings of Dorset’s prestigious families alongside items revealing agricultural workers’ hard lives. Move on to 20th-century Dorset to see how inventive people, creativity and enterprise helped shape its recent history.
c.6th to 7th century CE
Germanic style glass bowl fragment
This was a strongly curved, low drinking vessel with molten glass trailed around it for decoration. It is rare and only normally seen in the east and southeast of England.
Engraved glass bowl from Colliton Park, Dorchester
Engraved with followers of Dionysus, Greek god of wine.
Shale table leg from a three-legged table
Found in excavations at Colliton Park, Dorchester. Kimmeridge shale was used for many objects in Roman Dorset and beyond.
c.100 BCE - 53 CE
Stone and glass beads, both local and imported
From an Iron Age burial at Langton Herring, these beads belonged to a young woman.
Early Bronze Age
Bronze Age beaker
Beakers of this type are associated with the first objects made from metal. This beaker was found in Broadmayne.
Hoard of sixteen gold Durotrigian staters
Staters were the earliest coinage in Britain. Hoards of them were sometimes treated in similar ways to other deposits of special objects.
Bronze plaque fragment, with engraved figure
The engraved figure of Minerva discovered during excavations of the Roman Temple, Maiden Castle.
Plait of red human hair
Hair was preserved in several graves at the Roman cemetery at Poundbury because bodies were packed with gypsum. Women wore their hair long, often plaited and arranged on their head. The plaits were made of up to six strands, suggesting the help of a maid or hairdresser.
Mid-3rd century to mid-4th century CE
Glass jug from Bucknowle Roman Villa
A large, oval-shaped glass jug with distinctive chain handle. A rare survivor, this is one of the finest examples of Roman glassware ever discovered in Britain.
28 July 2022, 7:00pm
‘Anciently a manor’: the medieval manor at Lower Putton Lane, Chickerell
Join Dr Clare Randall to find out more about the findings from excavations at Lower Putton Lane carried out by Context One Heritage and Archaeology during 2016–2017 revealed a significant part of a manorial settlement.Find out more
14 March to 12 June 2022
A Virus a Day Textile Art by Antje Rook
Antje Rook created the A Virus a Day quilt created in response to Covid-19. The Portland artist embroidered one virus for every day of the first 2020 UK lockdown while she was isolating with her partner.Find out more
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
31 May 2022, 10:00am - 12noon
Half Term ArtyFacts
Model theatre-making based on Hardy's novels and the model by Thomas Tilley for the Hardy Players in the Hardy's Dorset Gallery.Find out more
2 June 2022, 10:00am - 12noon
Half Term ArtyFacts
Create your own wooden Victorian decoupage box using Victorian images and decoration in association with the Thomas Hardy exhibition and the Hardy's Dorset gallery. Younger children will be able to create simple Victorian collages.Find out more
11 June 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
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
18 June 2022, 11:30am - 4:00pm
Dorset Button making day
Join Dorset button maker and artist Anna McDowell to explore the history of Dorset button-making and take part in a workshop to make your own buttons.Find out more
19 June 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Create colourful wax resist and collaged patchwork patterns and shapes inspired by Valentine Ackland's jacket from our Dorset Artists gallery. Make your own cards and bookmarks with colourful designs to take home.Find out more