Dorset Museum & Art Gallery

Two children playing with an exhibit of a large animals mouth. One girl is inside the mouth while the other is posed beside it

Dorset Museum & Art Gallery’s vision is to inspire people everywhere to connect with 250 million years of Dorset’s stories through its world‐class collections. These include the natural world, archaeology, history, art and culture.

Founded in 1845, the museum’s literature, fine art, textiles, costume, local history, and photography collections grew over time. The Thomas Hardy collection was a major bequest in 1937.

Today the museum looks after an incredible four million objects.


Telephone: 01305 262735


Address: Dorset Museum, High West Street, Dorchester, DT1 1XA 

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ART.2219 Credit: Courtesy Dorset Museum & Art Gallery - Seascape, Rocky Shoreline by James Fry

Seascape, Rocky Shoreline

Oil painting by James Fry (1911 – 1985) From: Dorset Museum & Art Gallery This beautiful car was made by Scout Motors, a local Salisbury company, in 1912. It survived

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Elisabeth Frink: A View from Within

Dorset Museum & Art Gallery  Museum & Art Swindon The Salisbury Museum  Supported by Wessex Museums, Dorset Museum & Art Gallery presents an extraordinary exhibition showcasing a captivating body of

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Bush Barrow lozenge on display at Wiltshire Museum

Virtual Collection

Search the database featuring over 250,000 collection items from Wessex Museums’ partners. The database centralises records from Dorset Museum, Poole Museum, The Salisbury Museum, and Wiltshire Museum. View the Collection Showcase

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Atrium and Fordington Mosaic at Dorset Museum

Fordington mosaic 

Unearthed in 1903, the mosaic originates to the 2nd century. From: Dorset Museum & Art Gallery From floor to wall The mosaic on the Atrium wall at Dorset Museum used

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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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