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.

Opening Hours 2022

Open Every Day From Friday 01 April

10.30a.m. to 4.30p.m. with Last Entry at 4.10p.m.

Sorry No Snowdrop Opening this Year

(Setting Up “Fonthill Fever” Exhibition)

Free Admission

Donations and New Volunteers 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,  Joint Activities Programme and Lectures & Speakers pages, in the “About Us” and “Events” menus, and in our recent News Blogs and Newsletters.


Thanks to the foresight of its founders, The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society owns Gold Hill Museum. The Society is an entirely voluntary organisation and in normal years 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

Banqueting House Whitehall

Lord Mayor’s Talk on London’s Architectural Links with Dorset

At 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday 07 December at Gold Hill Museum, former…

Posted in the Past: Second Delivery

Local author Helen Baggott introduces a sample of the postcards…
Unveiling of Park Walk War Memorial

Shaftesbury’s Park Walk War Memorial Unveiled One Hundred Years Ago

On Sunday afternoon 23 October 1921, as reported by the Western…
Christina Richard, author of Mr & Mrs Lockwood Kipling

Tisbury Author Launches New Book on the Parents of Rudyard Kipling

Christina Richard signed copies of her latest book "Mr &…
Enmore Green 2

Enmore Green War Memorial Unveiled One Hundred Years Ago

At 4p.m. on Sunday 09 October 1921 a Memorial to the men of…

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