Dorset Museum

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Come and explore 250 million years of history at the Dorset Museum!

Located in the centre of Dorchester, this award-winning Museum is one of the cultural centres of Dorset with four themed galleries, special exhibitions area, a library and a café.

Our Natural Dorset gallery reveals the secrets of the county’s geology, landscapes, habitats and wildlife.

Discover the work and life of Dorset-born novelist and poet Thomas Hardy and draw on the world’s largest Thomas Hardy collection, which is on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The Hardy’s Dorset gallery also includes a replica of his study at Max Gate.

People’s Dorset starts in the Palaeolithic and travels through half a million years of people’s history. Marvel at spectacular Bronze Age gold, finds from Iron Age Maiden Castle, treasures from Roman Dorchester, and objects that reveal much more recent stories of Dorset’s people.

Artists’ Dorset has paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, textiles, and fine and decorative art from the Museum’s collection including works by the artist Elisabeth Frink.

A new international-standard exhibition gallery hosting major touring and temporary exhibitions

An accessible, state-of-the-art ‘Collections Discovery Centre’ will provide optimal storage space for the collection and create 20 years of collecting capacity for the Museum and other partner museums in the county.

The Museum is equipped with up-to-date facilities for collections management, research and conservation. And a specially created, publicly visible space for volunteers and researchers to work on the collections and for visitors to see the behind-the-scenes workings of a Museum.

Map & Directions

Dorset Museum


High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1XA
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Call direct on:

Tel01305 756827

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday: 9.00am - 4.30pm (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)
Sundays & Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)

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