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.

New Opening Hours

From Friday 07 August 2020

Friday to Sunday inclusive 10.30a.m. – 4.30p.m.

Visitors must please wear a face covering (unless exempt)

Free Entry

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.

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

Such "Goings On" at Shaftesbury - VE Day Tuesday 08 May 1945

Mayor and Mayoress Lead the Revels. Shaftesbury was beflagged…
Carnival Float 1912

Prime Minister Laid Low By Pandemic Virus - September 1918

In September 1918 Britain's dynamic wartime Prime Minister,…
Rin Tin Tin in A Dog of the Regiment 1927

Top Of The Bill - But Not Worth An Oscar

Rin Tin Tin, the canine superstar of the 1920's, was a big hit…
Picture Palace Cinema High Street Shaftesbury

What's On At The Picture Palace in 1920?

Shaftesbury's cinema The Picture Palace opened in the High Street…
Street Scene from the Tyler Collection

Albert Edward Tyler, 1873-1919, Photographer of Edwardian Shaftesbury

Prior to their now postponed talk Claire Ryley and Ann Symons,…

Heritage Lottery Fund
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