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

Currently closed to the public until probably February 2021 (Shaftesbury Snowdrops)

Owing to lack of available volunteer stewards Gold Hill Museum closed for the 2020 season at 2.30p.m. on Saturday 29 August

Sorry for any disappointment. We did try!

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 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

Team Harbour Media on Gold Hill

Baker’s Boy Delivers to Gold Hill Museum

Forty-seven years after it was first made, homage continues…
Marconi Factory Chelmsford

One Hundred Years Ago To The Day ….

On 15 June 1920 the renowned Australian operatic soprano Dame…
The_Field_of_the_Cloth_of_Gold

Five Hundred Years Ago to the Day ….

In June 1520 King Henry VIII of England met with King Francis…
Appleby Family CommemorateVE Day 2020

The New Normal in Lockdown Shaftesbury 2020

New levels of inventiveness were necessary to commemorate the…

Such “Goings On” at Shaftesbury – VE Day Tuesday 08 May 1945

Mayor and Mayoress Lead the Revels. Shaftesbury was beflagged…

Heritage Lottery Fund
ACE accredited logo (3)
Orion IT Ltd - Web Design Shaftesbury