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Dorset County Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: High West Street, Dorchester DT1 1XA, England
Phone Number: 44-01305-22735
Website
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

Discover 200 million years of Dorset's fascinating history in this...

Discover 200 million years of Dorset's fascinating history in this beautiful Grade 11 Listed building which is much bigger on the inside than it looks! Collections include fine art, geology, archaeology, literature, the history of the world heritage site Jurassic Coast and natural history. There are evening talks and events, plus children's activities and trails. See the website for details. Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm April to October, closing at 4pm November to March. Open Sundays in school summer holidays. Something for everyone, come rain or shine. We're a self-funding independent museum and registered charity. Money raised from your entry ticket enables us to look after our historic building and Dorset's precious past.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 266 reviews
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  • 130
    Excellent
  • 106
    Very good
  • 22
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Worth a Visit

A very interesting and informative museum. There is lots to see including the geology and pre-history sections as well as the exhibitions on Thomas Hardy and William Bates. The... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Jackie G
,
London, United Kingdom
via mobile
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266 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 263: English reviews
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A very interesting and informative museum. There is lots to see including the geology and pre-history sections as well as the exhibitions on Thomas Hardy and William Bates. The exhibits on the ground floor could be better labelled though and this particular area appears a bit dated but once you get upstairs, the historical, geological and literary exhibitions are very... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jackie G
DorsetCountyMuseum, Head of Marketing at Dorset County Museum, responded to this review

Thank you so much for taking time to review the Museum, and for telling us you found your visit interesting and informative. We're about to embark on a major redevelopment, Tomorrow's Museum for Dorset, which will modernise the whole Museum and enable us to better display our varied and and very extensive collections, so I do hope you will visit... More 

Bracknell, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

interesting and well laid out,absorbing and a pleasure to discover so many interesting items.A very reasonable entrance fee and very evident the great care and attention from those who work there.

Helpful?
Thank shaunstc
DorsetCountyMuseum, Head of Marketing at Dorset County Museum, responded to this review

Many thanks for your kind review. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Regards, Carmel More 

Frome, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The museum has a multiplicity of exhibits right from pre histotrical fossils, Roman Invasion local history not to mention extensiveThomas Hardy exhibits.

Helpful?
Thank Malcolm M
DorsetCountyMuseum, Head of Marketing at Dorset County Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for leaving a review - it sounds like you had a very interesting visit. Regards, Carmel More 

Ancient Kingdom of Wessex
Level Contributor
30 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Visted Dorset County Museum while taking a short break in Dorset and it was well worth the admission fee. The special display of railway posters was excellent as were the exhibits of local history. Those people who rated it poor are obviously people who shouldn't never ever visit museums.......

Helpful?
Thank GrumpyOldDevil
DorsetCountyMuseum, Head of Marketing at Dorset County Museum, responded to this review

Hello and thank you for your review, and your kind words about what you found when you came here. I do hope you will visit us again! With best wishes, Carmel More 

Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

In general a run of the mill town museum (fossils, farm implements) but it's worth a visit for the Hardy exhibition. There's a full mock up of his study with many of the original pieces and manuscripts etc and a well set out narrative.

Helpful?
Thank CMickell
DorsetCountyMuseum, Head of Marketing at Dorset County Museum, responded to this review

Thank you very much for taking the time to leave a review. It sounds like you enjoyed the Hardy display in particular. I do hope you will visit us again in the future - we are about to embark on a major redevelopment project, Tomorrow's Museum for Dorset, which will give us room to really show off our nationally and... More 

Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

So many different things in this museum... really brings the history alive with the new rooms on early history, Romans, the massacre of viking invaders...and more recent history with Thomas Hardy's study recreated here. Interactive, film footage, lovely architecture and a cafe with delicious cheese scones and Dorset tea. Art Fund members go free. I could have spent a lot... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sylvia B
DorsetCountyMuseum, Head of Marketing at Dorset County Museum, responded to this review

Thank you so much for leaving your review. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit. I hope we see you again soon. Carmel More 

California
Level Contributor
122 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This museum is a mixture of so many different things...Roman history, Paleontology, Literature (Thomas Hardy). It's a fun mix! I enjoyed every aspect of it. What a nice surprise to see the Roman mosaic on the main floor. Definitely worth the trip, no matter what your interest may be.

Helpful?
Thank JBicrs
DorsetCountyMuseum, Head of Marketing and PR at Dorset County Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for leaving a review. We do have an eclectic mix of all things Dorset and cover 200 million years of the county's history, so there really is something for everyone here! Kind regards, Carmel More 

Carmarthen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Went to see the Thomas Hardy exhibits having waited forty years to visit this museum! I was not disappointed. Loved the chance to see at close quarters Hardy's first drafts of his novels and the first editions. The reproduction of his study at Max Gate is very well done with great attention to detail. It gives you a real sense... More 

Helpful?
Thank Daphne E
DorsetCountyMuseum, Head of Marketing and PR at Dorset County Museum, responded to this review

What a lovely review - thank you very much for taking the time to write it. I hope you enjoy sipping your tea and thinking of Hardy and your visit here! With kind regards, Carmel More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
223 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2016

Part of my family came from this part of Dorset so I found the exhibits of great interest. The way they lived became real. My love of Thomas Hardy's work was made even greater thanks to the display.

Helpful?
Thank Tobywebb35
DorsetCountyMuseum, Head of Marketing and PR at Dorset County Museum, responded to this review

Thanks for leaving a review of your visit to the museum. It's lovely to hear that the exhibits were of such interest to you. We are very proud to have Thomas Hardy's study in the museum as it gives such an intimate flavour of the man - I do hope you will visit us again. With best wishes, Carmel More 

East Molesey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

Excellent environment, from the Roman pavement you can walk on, and the impressive Railway history etc, Neat little cafe for a mid-visit break and for £7 "wrinkly" entry you can return the next day f.o.c,

Helpful?
Thank UmpsRus2
DorsetCountyMuseum, Head of Marketing and PR at Dorset County Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for taking time to review your visit which you evidently really enjoyed. We hope to see you again some time! Best wishes, Carmel More 

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