We have gathered some website links for further investigation. These links go to Dark Dorset recommended sites for further investigation.
The Dorset County Museum has a vast collection of geological and archaeological artefacts, natural history, rural crafts, folklore and a writer’s gallery including the world’s finest collection on Thomas Hardy.
Weymouth Museum, which is located on the first floor of Brewers Quay, is home to the Borough Collection, which reflects the physical, cultural and economic history of the area. Entry to the Museum is free, but donations are welcome, and are used to purchase new exhibits and to finance new displays and exhibitions.
Founded by Dr Marie Stopes the famous birth control pioneer, Portland Museum opened in 1930. It is housed in two picturesque thatched Portland Stone cottages, nestling above Church Ope Cove. Inspired by one of these cottages, Wessex author, Thomas Hardy, made it the home of Avice, the heroine in "The Wellbeloved", one of his last novels.
For the 2009 season, the Museum has had a major makeover. If you have visited us before, do come back - and be prepared to be amazed by the new displays based on four specialist themes - Stone, Sea, Local Archaeology and Famous People. If you have never visited Portland Museum before, be amongst the first to enjoy our new and varied collection of interesting things that represent the Island's history and heritage.
Discover Bridport’s history told and new. Follow Sam, the Ropemaker’s Apprentice, as he guides you through the history of this historic Saxon town.
The Philpot Museum, Lyme Regis, contains many items related to the towns historic and geological past including maritime, fossils, paintings, prints and photographs and a new writers gallery illustrating the town's literary connections
The museum is housed in the old Congregational chapel and displays the history of the town from medieval to modern times. Archaeology and agriculture of the surrounding area and the history of the surrounding villages are also displayed. Special exhibitions are presented during the year.
Blandford Town Museum is the centre for collections relating to all aspects of life in the Blandford Forum area. Exhibits cover prehistoric and historic periods with exhibits on archaeology, Roman occupation, Georgian and Victorian life and Blandford during the war years. Special exhibits are on Victorian toys and domestic life, and a recently built exact working scale model of the Somerset and Dorset Railway at Blandford Station.
Features the history of Gillingham and surrounding villages from prehistoric times, through Roman and medieval occupation to the Victorian rebuilding; a 1790 manual fire engine; John Constable display; interactive quiz and photographic presentation. Parking and toilets in adjoining public car park.
Priest's House museum and garden
The Priest's House is an historic town house dating from the 16th century, located in the heart of Wimborne Minster. This Grade 2 listed building retains many original architectural features. There are period room settings, such as the Victorian kitchen with working Beetonette range. The building also houses displays covering the rich local history and archaeology of East Dorset and its communities.
Shaftesbury Town Museum
Situated at the top of Gold Hill, the Town Museum has many items of local interest providing an insight into Shaftesbury's long history and its association with crafts such as the Dorset button-making industry. The museum's cottage garden enjoys views to Melbury Hill.
Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and Garden
This was once the most important Benedictine community for women in the country and the supposed resting place of the murdered boy king Edward the Martyr.
The excavated foundations of the abbey church lie within a walled garden and the Anglo-Saxon herb garden and medieval orchard are not to be missed. Today visitors can see the abbey rebuilt through a virtual tour of the abbey church.
Langton Matravers Museum
Enjoy the heritage of Purbeck stone with an audio-visual introduction, displays of fossils, geology worked stone, tools, photographs and a reconstruction of a section of quarry mine and its capstan. There are also special temporary exhibitions from the Parish's extensive social history collection.
Close to historic Abbey and Almshouse, the museum features local history, geology and agriculture, a model of the old Norman castle, displays on the Sherborne silk and glass fibre industry and a beautifully displayed dolls' house.
Sturminster Newton Museum and Mill
Small local museum showing aspects of life in a country market town. The working mill still grinds flour in a traditional way using a 1904 turbine. Milling days arranged for visitors during the season.
Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre
A fascinating insight into the history and heritage of this unique town and its residents (both famous and infamous). Come and see the film and try the interactive displays plus learn about the newly designated Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
Wareham Town Museum
The museum tells the history of Wareham from Pre-historic times up to the present day with a special exhibition on Lawrence of Arabia. The museum is staffed entirely by volunteers
With its stunning new entrance and atrium, the museum's new public facilities include a terrace and visitor lounge with magnificent views over Poole Harbour and Old Town. The original fabric of the 18th century harbour warehouse which houses the main displays has been carefully revealed to provide the perfect setting for the story of Poole and its people to be told. Contemporary display methods have been used to provide increased access to the museum's rich collections and to engage, inform, educate and inspire everyone who comes to explore Poole's rich heritage.
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum
Discover Bournemouth's beautiful award winning Museum and Art Gallery. Once the home of Sir Merton and Lady Russell-Cotes, the house holds fascinating collections from their travels around the world. World famous Victorian art collection and Japanese art and artefacts. New displays, a delightful family gallery and newly restored Victorian gardens.
Red House Museum and Gardens
Lots of variety and interesting objects - local history, costume, geology, natural history and archaeology. Temporary exhibitions change every few weeks. Formal garden with culinary/medicinal herbs; secluded informal garden with old fashioned roses and less common shrubs and trees.
Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum
The museum tells the story of the six agricultural workers transported to Australia in 1834 after forming a trade union. Follow the Martyrs' fate by taking an exciting voyage of discovery via the interactive multimedia screens. Celebrate their memory on the third Sunday in July at the free family festival.
The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, houses the world's largest collection of witchcraft related artefacts and regalia. The museum has been located in Boscastle for over forty years and is amongst Cornwall's most popular museums.