Fire Pump from 1744

What Our Visitors Say

Recent entries in our Visitors’ Book:

23 April 2016  A really fascinating place! Thank you. And we especially liked the basket of traditional toys, listening to the serpent and seeing the cat mummy. All the exhibits are so well researched and full of facts. Thanks too to the volunteers for being so welcoming.  (A family from Oxford)

05 May 2016  I rarely miss an opportunity to visit a museum at home or abroad, but never remember being so impressed by a museum’s contents and presentation as here – may your volunteers long continue to flourish. (A visitor from Basingstoke, Hampshire)

22 May 2016  Fantastic – well done to all involved. Love the opportunities for children to dress up or touch things. (Anonymous)

22 May 2016  How charming and caring to visit a small museum that is kept fresh and dust-free and alive. Wonderful. (A couple from Gloucester)

Gold Hill Museum is open every day, including Bank Holidays and Sundays, 10.30 to 4.30 until 31 October



Shaftesbury Remembers the Great War

Claire Ryley (left) and Ann Symons are staging a “Shaftesbury Remembers the Great War” display in the Large Exhibition Room at Gold Hill Museum. This charts the progress of the Heritage Lottery Funded community project collecting evidence about the impact of the First World War on the people of Shaftesbury and surrounding villages in Dorset and Wiltshire. Currently on show are information about the men and women remembered on local war memorials; maps and lists of early twentieth century shops and businesses in Shaftesbury; and objects recently donated or loaned to the Museum. The contemporary Girl Guide uniform has been kindly loaned by the Dorset Girl Guides Association. Project volunteers have interviewed many people at the Museum, in their homes and at Shaftesbury Library, and the recordings are being shared with the county archive at Dorset History Centre. A database is being created which will eventually be accessible through Gold Hill Museum website. The exhibition runs until 31 October and the project continues for the rest of 2016. Claire and Ann would love to hear from people who can share objects, information or family stories about the local area in the early twentieth century, and they can be contacted via

Medieval Feast Sunday 15 May 1 – 3 p.m.

As part of the Shaftesbury Food and Drink Festival on Sunday 15 May, Gold Hill Museum volunteers will be turning the clock back to the Middle Ages. In period dress they will be offering visitors, especially accompanied children, sample tastings from the dinner table of seven hundred years ago. So why not follow the cheese races up Gold Hill with a visit to the Museum’s Garden Room and turn your hand to making medieval bread and salads, and other crafts? The event runs from 1 to 3 p.m. and is free, though donations towards the cost of ingredients will be most welcome.

Old Wives’ Tales or Old Wise Tales?

Kate Scott returns to Gold Hill Museum on Friday 13 May with another of her popular workshops on a herbal or countryside theme. “Old Wives’ or Old Wise Tales” explores the folklore and uses of our native hedgerow plants. The workshop runs in the Garden Room from 10.30a.m. until 3.00p.m. and includes a herb walk into the surrounding lanes and by-ways of Shaftesbury, and a tasty light lunch. The cost is £30 and Kate can be contacted via her Roundhill herbery Facebook page or

Five Temporary Exhibitions to see this week

448 visitors came through the door of Gold Hill Museum during the three days of the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. Apart from the permanent local history displays, there were FIVE temporary exhibitions for them to see. Shaftesbury Camera Club’s exhibition of top-class prints (above) continues in the Garden Room until Friday 06 May. Also available to view until the end of the season are: a magnificent array of fans from the Museum Collection; an insight into the history of Shaftesbury and Tisbury workhouses; a short history of King Canute (who died at Shaftesbury in 1035); and documents, artefacts and photographs from our Heritage Lottery Funded Community Project in a newly-opened show entitled Shaftesbury Remembers the Great War. Admission to all parts of the Museum is free.