Our museums

Wessex Museums is made up of seven key museums in Dorset and Wiltshire. Together they tell the amazing stories of Wessex, with world class collections spanning archaeology, fine and decorative art, ethnography, literature, social history, costume and textiles.

Explore 250 million years of the county’s history, from fascinating fossils to Roman remains, Victorian life to much-loved Wessex literature.
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Marvel at the unique collection of shipwrecks and seafaring items from Poole’s days as the maritime centre of Wessex, as well as the world’s greatest display of Poole Pottery.

Temporarily closed for major redevelopment.
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Discover 500,000 years of history - from the archaeology of ancient Wessex to contemporary art - all in a stunning medieval building.

A major redevelopment project is now underway, but key galleries are still open.
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Be dazzled by gold from the time of Stonehenge, Britain’s best Bronze Age archaeology collection, and the largest coin hoard from Roman Britain.
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Discover the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway - a story brought to life with iconic GWR locomotives.
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A once-grand Palladian home, now restored to its former glory. Explore its state rooms with ornate plasterwork and original family furnishings.
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Currently closed while work is ongoing to create a new, improved and accessible venue.
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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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