Beaminster Museum reflects and interprets the rich social history of this rural West Dorset market town and the surrounding villages.
150 years of local history including Chickerell Brickworks
A unique rope and netting collection with working machinery, Roman jewellery, fossils from the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, plus Bridport’s dark history.
Aviation museum next to Bournemouth International Airport, with a number of aircraft, aero engines, cockpits and ground vehicles.
Natural history museum in a Victorian building, with fossils, minerals and an Egyptology collection.
An authentic recreation of the busy wartime dockyard on the Isle of Portland, from which thousands of American troops embarked, bound for the beaches of Nazi occupied France.
Local fossil collections and home to the Attenborough and the Sea Dragon display
An isolated cottage near Wareham. It’s the former home of T. E. Lawrence. Owned by the National Trust.
Founded in 1846, the museum covers the county of Dorset’s history and environment.
The museum includes Teddy Bear House and displays antique and other teddy bears. Bears on display include Paddington Bear, Rupert Bear, and Winnie the Pooh.
A private museum which is owned and run by Palaeontologist Steve Davies and his wife Jenny. The museum contains a spectacular collection of the local Jurassic marine fossils. The collection grows each year and is now probably the best fossil collection on public display in south west England.
The Museum tells the story of the town, the immediate parishes and their people.
Local history museum with an award-winning cottage garden and wonderful views over Thomas Hardy’s Blackmore Vale.
A small museum showing and explaining about the history of the HMYOI, during its Convict Prison days, Borstal Institute days, Youth Custody and Young Offenders Institute days, with film, snippits of information, photographs and items of interest on show.
A small cob and thatch building that’s the birthplace of author Thomas Hardy. Owned by the National Trust.
The museum, built on the site of Mary Anning’s home, is packed with interesting and thought-provoking displays. The collections are unusually rich for a small museum and they have a lot of good stories to tell. Lyme’s lively local history is well represented by its spectacular fossil collections, maritime and domestic objects, and illustrated by paintings, prints and photographs.
Atmospheric Victorian home where author Thomas Hardy once lived. it’s owned by the National Trust.
Set up in 1988. The only accredited museum in the UK with a focus on plastics. It’s the UK’s leading resource for the study and interpretation of design in plastics and a specialist research resource at Arts University Bournemouth.
Explore the numerous collections and themed exhibitions, and find out more about Wimborne Minster and the surrounding areas of East Dorset.
Built in 1872 to protect Weymouth and Portland harbours. Made up of three levels, it encompasses a museum of the fort’s history, café, gift shop, and excellent 360 degree views across both harbours and the beautiful Nothe Gardens of the peninsula.
Local history museum
Tucked away in a beautiful corner of the island in two cottages dating to the seventeenth century. Find out about author Thomas Hardy and museum founder Dr Marie Stopes’ connections to the island. Ancient superstitions in witchcraft, getting up close and personal with a Jurassic sea monster or finding out about the Nanny Diamonds.
The Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum is an independent museum which exists to preserve and interpret everything to do with the Purbeck extractive industries, especially those associated with the Swanage Railway branch line. At the moment the focus is on the Purbeck ball clay industry. The PMMM is housed in one of the last underground mine buildings which worked in Purbeck. The collections include mining equipment, as well as images and artifacts of all aspects of associated social and economic history including narrow gauge railways. However the Museum is also interested in the history of shale and shale gas, Purbeck limestones, other clays, chalk, other aggregates and oil.
Local history museum.
Housing one of Poole’s historic lifeboats, Thomas Kirk Wright, the old boathouse and souvenir shop at Fisherman’s Dock at the end of Poole Quay offers the public a close-up view of the lifeboat and the history that surrounds it.
Tells the story of military communications from semaphore to cyber.
Dream house and galleries built by Merton Russell-Cotes as a present for his wife. Filled with world art and beautiful objects, overlooking the sea.
A fifteenth century Grade I listed house in Poole, next to the Poole Museum. The museum focuses on life in Poole between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, and includes a Victorian schoolroom and kitchen.
The story of the Abbey and its inhabitants has been vividly brought to life. The museum houses a fascinating collection of carved stonework including samples of Saxon carving, medieval floor tiles and other excavated objects.
Local history museum.
Houses an extensive collection of Victorian engineering. Central to the display is the massive, 26 foot diameter waterwheel built in 1869, which features the system of ventilated buckets designed by William Fairbairn, but so seriously corroded that it is had to be rebuilt. It’s now restored to full working order. Visitors can see the wheel driving a twin cylinder pumpset built in 1883 by Sparrow’s of Martock for a local tannery. They also have a Hindley steam engine.
Brings over 200 years of justice and injustice to life. Walk in the footsteps of people whose lives were forever changed in the historic court at Dorchester’s Shire Hall. Immerse yourself in the cells before ascending to the dock.
The Museum’s collection contains objects, documents and photographs relating to the history of the town and its surrounding villages.
The site is not only a water supply museum but also a spring source and current day pumping station. travel back in time to learn about how the Victorians transformed public health with the introduction of a clean water supply. Your visit is also an opportunity to learn about treating and supplying water and protecting local water resources and the environment in the 21st century
Over 8000 life-size clay warriors protected the First Emperor of China’s tomb. The Famous Terracotta Army – is now referred to as the eighth wonder of the ancient world.
Small fashion museum in Dorset with 12 exhibition spaces and a welcoming tearoom, showcasing fashion and textiles from the eighteenth century to the 1980s.
A wealth of artefacts and archives from prehistoric to the present day.
The Dinosaur Museum transports visitors back into the prehistoric world of the dinosaurs. Set in a converted Victorian schoolhouse in the centre of the historic town of Dorchester. See dinosaur skeletons, walk among life-size reconstructions including Stegosaurus and T-Rex, and learn through hands-on interactive displays.
Independent fossil museum based on the lifetime collection of Steve Etches. The Etches Collection was opened in 2016. It’s a unique, modern museum of amazing fossils – the marine life of Jurassic Dorset. Learn about life and death in the Kimmeridgian seas 157 million years ago during the age of the dinosaurs.
Creative displays telling the stories of the regiments of Devon and Dorset.
The world’s finest collection of tanks.
A spectacular recreation of Tutankhamun’s tomb and treasures.
Tells the harrowing tale of the Tolpuddle Martyrs arrest, trial and punishment, leading to the foundation of modern day trade unionism.
One of Weymouth’s treasured Tudor buildings and thought to have been a merchant’s property. Furnished in the style of an early seventeenth century home of a middle class family. A fascinating insight into the life of the times during the heyday of Weymouth as a port for trade and exploration. Guides describe the domestic daily life of the times, including furniture and clothing, cooking and serving of food, lighting and candle making.
Tells the story of the Wareham area from prehistoric times to the present day.
Local history museum.
Local history museum.
1/10th scale model of the town’s streets, shops and gardens as they looked in the 1950s.
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