Welcome to Gold Hill Museum

Shaftesbury and District’s local history museum with an award-winning cottage garden and wonderful views over Thomas Hardy’s Blackmore Vale.

Open Daily in 2018

from Sat 10 February to Sun 18 February

and from Sat 24 March to Weds 31 October

10.30 to 4.30

Admission free

(donations very welcome)

At the top of picturesque Gold Hill, well known for the Hovis “Boy on a Bike” advert, this modern museum is set in two historic buildings. One was once the priest’s house and still has a “squint” through the wall to St Peter’s church; the other provided basic lodgings for traders at the market on Gold Hill.

Eight galleries tell the story of rural and town life, starting even before Shaftesbury’s notional foundation by Alfred the Great. Highlights of the collection include the unique Byzant, carried during annual celebrations of the securing of the water supply, so vital to a hilltop town; Dorset’s oldest fire engine, dating from 1744; fine lacework and costumes; handmade Dorset buttons; and a mummified Dorset cat.

Gold Hill Museum is owned and managed by volunteers of The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society, a registered charity. You can read about the range of activities of The S & DHS in the Diary of Events, Library and Lectures & Speakers pages, in the “About Us” and “Events” menus, and in our recent Newsletters.

The S & DHS

Thanks to the foresight of its founders, The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society owns Gold Hill Museum. The Society is an entirely voluntary organisation and receives no public funding towards the running costs of the Museum. Please contact us if you can help by becoming a member, a volunteer or a donor. Thank you.

News Blog Latest

34035 "Shaftesbury" arrives at Gold Hill Museum

"Shaftesbury" was one of the Southern Railway Company's "West…

The Language of the Fan at Gold Hill Museum

Gold Hill Museum re-opens on Saturday 19 March with many new…

New Face in the Garden at Gold Hill Museum

Biffo the Gargoyle has taken up residence in the Museum Garden.…

Dorset Mayors Visit Gold Hill Museum

Over 30 Dorset Mayors and their consorts visited Gold Hill Museum…

Ancestry Afternoon Friday 26 February Fully Booked

The opportunity to uncover Family History with the help of experienced…

Heritage Lottery Fund
Museum Libraries Archives
Orion IT Ltd - Web Design Shaftesbury