Museums and galleries across the UK are subject to temporary closures. Those that remain open have safety measures in place, please remember to check venue guidelines before visiting.

Dorset Museum

Temporarily closed


Free entry

Dorset Museum is temporarily closed until further notice. Please check the venue's website for the latest details.

Dorset County Museum is independently owned and managed by the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.

It has an eclectic range of works relating to the local area covering as diverse subject areas as archaeology, geology, social history, fine and decorative art, photography, natural history and costume and textiles.

Permanent collection

Highlights of the collection include the Moule Dry-Earth Closet which was selected by the BBC and the British Museum as one of the A History of the World in 100 Objects, the Reverend Henry Moule of Dorchester invented this composting toilet in 1859.
The floor of the Victorian Hall at the museum contains the Durngate Street Roman Mosaic Pavement and is one of the few places in Europe where you can actually walk on a Roman mosaic.
The museum has a strong collection of portraits including work by Gainsborough and Thomas Beach. Frederick Whitehead's scenery of Thomas Hardy's Wessex is well represented. From 1893 he travelled in Dorset for six months each year in his caravan, with his wife Beatrice who entered into the spirit of the lifestyle by dressing up as a gypsy and telling fortunes. There is also a portfolio of Hardy's Wessex views painted by John Everett, the Dorset-born artist and friend of Augustus John and Thomas Hardy.
 Included among the museum's sculpture collection is a maquette of Dorset-based Elisabeth Frink's Martyrs, commemorating all in the county who had died for their faith.

Dorset Museum

High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1XA

01305 262735


Opening times

Temporarily closed

With a National Art Pass you get

Free entry
Standard entry price

Price displayed is based on a standard venue entry price. Prices may vary according to ticket type and entry day/time.

Price correct at time of publication.

Ready to discover more? Choose your pass

Exhibitions nearby

Back to top