Collections Showcase

Our museums cover Dorset and Wiltshire, and hold world-class collections spanning archaeology, fine and decorative art, ethnography, social history, costume and textiles. Together we tell different chapters in the fascinating story of Wessex, from prehistoric times to today.

Here are just some of the amazing pieces we hold in our museums. Later, we’ll be adding a link to a virtual database of our collections – watch this space!

One of the most incredible Bronze Age finds in Britain. The dagger handle is decorated with thousands of microscopic gold studs.
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Tiny glass head tells a tale of revelry and ritual dating back to Roman times.
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Mysterious and menacing mask, part of traditional Dorset folk culture.
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Buried with 18 arrowheads, but the mysterious 'archer' certainly wasn't a hunter.
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Macabre and mysterious - the mouthpiece of a Bronze Age musical instrument made from a human femur bone.
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Find out more about the magnificent moustachioed man!
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The skull of a pliosaur, the largest marine reptile that ever lived.
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Beautiful car that survived the scrap yard and rallying, before being lovingly restored.
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The finest example of Bronze Age gold-working ever found - sheet gold intricately decorated with geometric lines.
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Mystery boat carved from one massive tree trunk
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A beautiful Iron Age mirror decorated with mystical Celtic art.
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A hoard of 4,000 Roman coins, found with a little help from a cow!
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Wild Life in the Red

What do you think about our exhibition?

Sawfish are also called carpenter sharks...but they are rays, not sharks!

There’s also a species called a sawshark, but that’s, well, a shark!

What the heck is a lek?

Males great bustards perform spectacular courtship displays, gathering at a ‘lek’ or small display ground to try to impress the females.

Road Runner!

The great bustard has a dignified slow walk but tends to run when disturbed, rather than fly.

Belly Buster!

The hen-bird on display at The Salisbury Museum was one of the last great bustards to be eaten in the town!

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