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250 million years of natural history at Dorset Museum

Dorset Museum

About the Dorset Museum

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, library and 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.

Frink Gallery - copyright Dorset Museum


  • Jurassic Coast Gallery
  • History of Dorset
  • Local Literature
  • Archaeology Gallery
  • Geology Gallery
  • Wildlife Gallery
  • Gift shop & Cafe

Special features

  • Hardy’s Study
  • Roman Mosaic Floors

Visit Dorset Museum

High West Street

Opening times

Daily: 9.00am – 4.30pm
Sunday: 10.00am – 4.00pm


All admissions include an Annual Pass allowing free unlimited access to the Museum and Library for a year.

  • Adult £15
  • Child (5-16 years, under 5’s FREE) £8
  • Family – 1 adult + up to 3 children £29
  • Family – 2 adults + up to 3 children £42
  • DNHAS Members FREE


tel: 01305 262735
e: email us

Do check the Dorset Museum website for the latest events and information

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