Ancient Technology Centre
Damerham Road, Cranborne
Wimborne BH21 5RP
The Ancient Technology Centre's activities and buildings are based on archaeological evidence from a range of periods including the Neolithic, Iron Age (Celtic), Roman, Anglo Saxon and Viking eras. These have all been built with the help of thousands of visiting school children, using authentic methods and locally-sourced materials where possible.
Blandford Fashion Museum
Lime Tree House, The Plocks, Blandford
Forum DT11 7AA
Lime Tree House was opened to the public as a home for the fashion collection in 1995. This beautiful Georgian house was was built by John and William Bastard after the great fire of Blandford in 1731. Conservation and dating of costumes is of the utmost importance and archives are kept up to date .
Cerne Giant - National Trust
Cerne Abbas Giant
The striking giant of Cerne Abbas is a 180 foot high figure of a man bearing a 121 foot long club, incised into the chalk of the hillside. It has been speculated that the giant may have carried a cloak over his left arm and gripped a severed head in his left hand.
Christchurch Priory & St Michael's Loft Museum
Christchurch Priory Church, Quay Road
Christchurch BH23 1BU
Christchurch Priory Church (the parish church) is very much a living church. It is open every day not only for the usual daily services of Matins and Evensong, but from 10.00am to 5.00pm for pilgrims, tourists and visitors for personal prayer, relaxation or just viewing.
Corfe Castle - National Trust
The Square, Corfe Castle
Wareham BH20 5EZ
Thousand-year-old castle, rising above the Isle of Purbeck. One of Britain's most majestic ruins, the castle controlled the gateway through the Purbeck Hills and has been an important stronghold since the time of William the Conqueror.
Corfe Castle Museum
Corfe Castle Town Hall, West Street
Corfe Castle BH20 5HA
The museum has images and artefacts taken from Corfe's past with the clay, stone and Purbeck Marble industries and snapshots of why and how the village became what it is today. The museum is housed on the ground floor of the smallest Town Hall in England and so it is quite small too, but well worth a visit.
Kingston Lacy - National Trust
Wimborne BH21 4EA
Home of the Bankes family for more than 300 years, this striking 17th-century house was radically altered in the 19th century by Sir Charles Barry. The house is noted for its lavish interiors, including William Bankes's dramatic Spanish Room, with its gilded leather walls.
Maiden Castle - English Heritage
This is the finest and largest Iron Age hillfort in Europe. Its banks enclose an area the size of 50 football pitches, which would have been home to about 200 families.
Max Gate - National Trust
Dorchester DT1 2AB
Max Gate, home to Dorset's most famous author and poet, Thomas Hardy, was designed by the writer himself in 1885. This atmospheric Victorian home is where Hardy wrote some of his most famous novels including Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, as well as most of his poetry.
Weymouth DT4 8UF
The Nothe Fort, a grade II* listed scheduled ancient monument, comprises over 70 rooms on three levels (Ramparts, Courtyard and Magazines). It was built between 1860 and 1872 as part of the defences of the new naval base at Portland and was designed and constructed by the Royal Engineers for a 12-gun battery of massive cannons. Collections: The collection illustrates Victorian and WW2 life in a military garrison, history as seen from the Nothe headland, and the part played by the people of Weymouth in the Second World War. The collection is particularly strong in military uniforms, rifles, equipment, cap badges and general WW2 militaria.
Old Crown Court & Cells
Stratton House, High West Street
Dorchester DT1 1UZ
Famous for the trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs in 1834. The courtroom only is open all year free of charge.
4 High Street
Poole BH15 1BW
Poole Museum is housed in a 19th century quayside mill, extended in 2007. Poole's rich history is revealed in four floors of galleries, with displays and exhibitions ranging from archaeology to art and pirates to potteries.
Portland Castle - English Heritage
Portland DT5 1AZ
The history of this fortress, which overlooks Portland harbour, is diverse and fascinating. Built by Henry VIII to defend the anchorage against possible French and Spanish invasion, its squat appearance is typical of the artillery forts built in the early 1540s. Unusually for a fortress of this period, the castle has seen much interior alteration, though the exterior remains largely unchanged.
Priest's House Museum & Garden, The
23-27 High Street
Wimborne Minster BH21 1HR
The Priest's House is an historic town house dating from the 16th century, located in the heart of Wimborne Minster. This Grade II* listed building retains many original architectural features.
Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum
Norden Park and Ride BH20 5DW
The Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum Group was formed to consider establishing a permanent mining museum at Norden to exhibit artefacts primarily connected to the mining of ball clay in Dorset and other significant minerals extracted in Purbeck, which were intimately connected with the growth and history of the Swanage Railway. The museum is to enhance the visitor experience when visiting the Swanage Railway.
Red House Museum & Gardens
Christchurch BH23 1BU
A charming Georgian building (originally the town's workhouse) filled with a rich variety of displays and objects with a local theme. Collections: Displays include the archaeological material from Christchurch and the surrounding area; a large social history & bygones gallery featuring Victorian and Edwardian objects on many themes; the Herbert Druitt Costume Gallery (currently displaying wedding dresses 1820s-1960s) and a 1930s room setting with furniture by local Arts & Crafts maker Arthur Romney Green.
Roman Town House
Dorchester DT1 1XJ
Find out more about Romano-British urban life at the best preserved example of a Roman town house in the country. Roman Town House was discovered, almost by chance in 1937 during an archaeological dig.
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
Bournemouth BH1 3AA
This Grade II* seaside villa is the former home of Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russell-Cotes, who designed it to house their art collection and objects from their world travels. It was gifted to the borough in 1908 and opened as a museum in 1922.
Sherborne DT9 3LQ
Founded by St Aldhelm in AD 705, the Abbey has developed from Saxon Cathedral to the worshipping heart of a monastic community, and, finally, to one of the most beautiful of England's parish churches.
Sherborne Old Castle - English Heritage
Sherborne DT9 3SA
After two sieges during the Civil War, visitors to the castle today see it in its more recent role as a romantic ruin in the grounds of the 'new' Sherborne Castle. Only the Southwest Gatehouse and parts of the castle including the Great Tower and the North Range survived.
Sturminster Newton Museum
1, Old Market Cross House, Market Cross
Sturminster Newton DT10 1AN
Sturminster's small museum is housed in an historic, thatched 16th C building in a conservation area in the centre of town. The museum is managed by the Sturminster Newton Museum & Mill Society, which, as the name implies, also managed the town's historic 17th C Mill which, regularly, still grinds corn. The collection mainly contains objects, photographs and printed ephemera relating to Sturminster Newton and outlying villages.
Swanage BH19 1HB
Swanage Railway is a six-mile heritage railway running from Swanage past Corfe Castle to a park & ride at Norden. It is primarily a steam-hauled service.