Victorian Hall

Victorian Hall

Geology, archaeology and natural history collections were once on show here, in the magnificent centrepiece of the Victorian Hall

The museum building itself was built of Portland stone in 1883, designed and constructed by George Rackstrow Crickmay, a Weymouth architect. The cast-iron columns and arches and the other metalwork in the aisled Victorian Hall were cast in Frome by Edward Cockey & Sons inspired by the Great Exhibition of 1851 and International Exhibition of 1862.  In 1903, local businessman, magistrate and benefactor, Charles Hansford supported the installation of the mezzanine in the Victorian Hall and grand staircase.

The beautiful rose window pouring soft light down into the hall below on genuine Roman mosaic floors (one of the very few in Europe you can actually stand on). An extraordinary feat of vision and determination, each tiny tile was excavated from local Roman townhouses in the early 1900s, before being meticulously and painstakingly relaid here.

Interior of the Victorian Hall before the mezzanine was installed in 1903

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

  • 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

  • For more information
    [email protected]


Are you looking for an iconic venue for your event? With its Gothic facade, spectacular Victorian Hall and stunning new galleries, Dorset Museum is a memorable choice.

Venue hire

For information on events in the Victorian Hall

Whats on

The Roman Mosaics