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.

Coronavirus and The S&DHS

To safeguard the health of visitors and volunteers, the Trustees have decided

Gold Hill Museum will remain closed to the public until further notice

Sorry for any disappointment

Please watch this space

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

Great Chalfield Manor by Hugh Wright

Great Chalfield Manor and its People

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

On The Parish: Life in Dorset's Workhouses

The question of how society should address the problem of poverty…
Moulin Rouge

Cancan and the Invention of Gay Paree 1867-1914

Dr Jonathan Conlin of Southampton University ushers in the New…
Jill Sumner with DMA Chair Jon Murden

Dorset Museums Volunteer of the Year Award

Long-serving Gold Hill Museum steward and gardener Jill Sumner…

Stonehenge, Shaftesbury Abbey, and SAVED

BBC4's Digging for Britain, broadcast at 9pm on Wednesday 20…

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