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 2024

10.30a.m. to 4.30p.m. (Last Entry at 4.10p.m.)

Open every day from Saturday 23 March

TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS 2024

The theme of our main temporary exhibition is Made in Shaftesbury

Please contact us if you have an interesting example of an item made locally

email: enquiries@goldhillmuseum.org.uk or phone 01747 852157

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, and Lectures & Speakers pages, in the “About Us” and “Events” menus, and in our recent News Blogs and 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 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

Who Let The Bloodhounds Out? William Beckford Apparently

Bridport-based artist Jules Cross has very kindly donated his…

The Two Coronations of the Previous King Charles

On 01 January 1651 the 20-year-old Charles II was crowned King…

Join the Historic Byzant Ceremony on Monday 08 May 11.00

The Byzant is unique to Shaftesbury, though it resembles May…

It’s a Peach of an Exhibition

For the new season beginning 01 April 2023 Gold Hill Museum…

Escape or Die 1651 – Charles II the Most Wanted Man

On 03 September 1651 the mainly Scottish army of the 21 year-old…