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

Open Every Day from Monday 31 May

to Sunday 31 October 2021

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

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.

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

John Rutter Plaque (2)

John Rutter Blue Plaque to Be Unveiled on 07 August

Angus Campbell, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, will…
Tyler View of The Commons, Shaftesbury

The Turbulent Quaker of Shaftesbury and Riots in The Commons

The Commons in question being almost a public square where Shaftesbury…
Gold Hill from the Tyler Collection

Gold Hill Museum Opens New Shows From Monday 31 May

Volunteers at Shaftesbury's Gold Hill Museum have been mastering…
Dave Hardiman about to record the voiceover

Dave Hardiman on “The Cantankerous Clergyman” of 1870s Shaftesbury

"If he were not a clergyman, I would give him a good thrashing."…
King's College Chapel (photo by Dmitry Tonkonog)

550 Years Ago England’s Worst King Murdered In The Tower

On 21 May 1471 the last of the Lancastrian kings, Henry VI,…

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