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 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

Thomas Cromwell Visits Shaftesbury Abbey

Thomas Cromwell Visits Shaftesbury Abbey (Perhaps)

In the instalment of Hilary Mantel's new novel 'The Mirror and…
Fire Pump from 1744

Gold Hill Museum Will Remain Closed Until Further Notice

Gold Hill Museum will not open to the public for the new season…
St James from the Tyler Collection

Photographs of Edwardian Shaftesbury 2.30pm Tuesday 07 April 2020 / Now Postponed

For the finale of The Shaftesbury & District Historical…
All Age Events

Toymakers' Workshop Wednesday 19 February Starts 2p.m.

Gold Hill and Shaftesbury Abbey Museums offer a joint programme…
Great Chalfield Manor by Hugh Wright

Great Chalfield Manor and its People

Great Chalfield Manor, near Bradford-on-Avon, has been the setting…

Heritage Lottery Fund
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