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

Mr Toad's Abandoned Caravan

Mr Toad’s Abandoned Caravan, and Other Amazing Spaces

Kindly given by Toad to Ratty and Mole who refurbished it for…
Sir Robert Walpole - First Prime Minister

Three Hundred Years Ago The First Prime Minister Enters Office

Or so the postmark said on today's letters. "(Sir) Robert Walpole…
Drone Pilot - Photographer Chris McComish

Shaftesbury’s Gold Hill Museum Reaches For The Skies

Bristol-based professional video maker Chris McComish was flying…
Coombe House by Albert Edward Tyler

Shaftesbury Vinegar Tycoon and FA Cup Winner’s Country Retreat

Dorset Council has recently bought the former St Mary's School…
Roman Box Room by Tryphena Orchard

Amazing Spaces Challenge Now Open to All

In 2019 Gold Hill Museum was given a collection of superb hand-made…

Heritage Lottery Fund
ACE accredited logo (3)
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