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 2019

Sat 16 February to Sun 24 February inclusive

And from Mon 01 April to Thurs 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

Tudor Disregard for Health and Safety at its Peak in the Summer

Professor Steven Gunn of Merton College Oxford is leading a…
Annual Garden Party 2019

Perfect Weather for Garden Party

The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society chose one…
Mary Arden's Farm

Tudor Accident of the Month: Making and Taking Worming Powder

July 2019. Intestinal worms were an unpleasantly common affliction…
Perce-pierre or rock samphire

Tudor Accident of the Month: Gathering Rock Samphire

June 2019. Rock samphire is a succulent coastal plant, nutritious…
Charles II Needlework Decorative Box

Dorchester Privilege Visit for S&DHS Members

The 2019 Summer Outing for members of The Shaftesbury &…

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