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 2017

from Sat 11 February to Sun 19 February

and from Sat 01 April to Tues 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

Operation Warhorse by Julian Richards

The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society's January lecturer…

Dickensians meet Alfred The Great

Visitors to Gold Hill Museum's late-night Christmas shopping…
Dorset Clay Pipes

Dorset Clay Pipes

December's lecturer, Robert Lancaster, brought an array of examples…

Christmas Fun

Christmas Fun at Gold Hill Museum Sunday 6th December 2015 -…

November News

Gold Hill Museum closed its doors at the end of the regular season…
Heritage Lottery Fund
Museum Libraries Archives
Orion IT Ltd - Web Design Shaftesbury