Blandford Town Museum

Blandford Museum houses and displays artefacts from Blandford Forum and the surrounding Villages. The museum is a community museum run by volunteers.

The Museum holds a wealth of artefacts and archives from Prehistoric to the present day. With information for people researching their family history, militaria and railways to information and learning boxes for schools.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm

Blandford Town Museum website

Sherborne Museum

Sherborne Museum, with over 15,000 items of local history, is in the heart of the town close to five of the most ancient buildings in its history: the Abbey, Sherborne School, the Almshouse, the Conduit, the Old Church House.

Apart from a few purchases, the items have all been donated by local residents, and the displays are enhanced by models, illustrations and back-drops by local artists.

Opening hours Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am to 4.30pm


Gillingham Museum

Gillingham museum tells the story of the town, the immediate parishes and their people.  Over a thousand generations have seen this corner of the Blackmore Vale from a Neolithic settlement to the bustling Gillingham of today.

Opening hours: Monday 10.00am to 1.00pm, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 10.00 to 5.00pm,    Saturday 9.30am to 4.00pm


Gold Hill Museum

Gold Hill museum in Shaftesbury has reopenened after extensive building work.  Gold Hill was made famous by the Hovis bread advertisement in the 1970’s.  Local life and history are portrayed in the museum through artefacts, costume, photos, ceramics, tools, domestic items and the town’s first fire engine and the charming cottage garden delights visitors throughout the season.

Opening hours: daily 10.30am to 4.30pm


Shaftesbury Abbey Museum

Shaftesbury Abbey museum and garden is set on the site of Saxon England’s foremost Benedictine nunnery founded by King Alfred in 888AD.  The story of the Abbey and its inhabitants has been vividly brought to live in a new, state-of-the-art museum.

Opening hours: Daily 10.00am to 5.00pm


Blandford Fashion Museum

Housed in Lime Tree House, a beautiful Georgian house built by the Bastard brothers after the great fire of Blandford in 1731. The museum has 10 exhibition areas in order to display specific stories of the life and changing shape of fashion from the past.

Open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from mid February to the end of November.


Shillingstone Station

Our working railway museum in the heart of the Stour Valley with a café and heritage carriage dining area. Including a locomotive and rolling stack alongside the restored station, with small museum and signal box. Tours and demonstrations and opportunities for volunteers. Open Wednesday, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank holidays.

The Victorian Barn – (a local place to stay)

The Victorian Barn nestles under Bulbarrow Hill on a small working beef farm in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is situated 8 miles west of the Georgian town of Blandford Forum and four miles south of Sturminster Newton, being an old Medieval market town as mentioned in the doomsday book.  The Victorian Barn is a triple span barn and was originally built in 1849. Dairy cows were kept in stalls and milked by hand some of the milk was processed and made into cheese and the whey would have been fed back to the pigs on the farm. The working shire horses were also stabled in the barn.  The barn has now been lovingly restored into luxury accommodation for guests to enjoy and soak up the glorious Dorset countryside made famous by Thomas Hardy.  The Victorian Barn is a large building comprising 7 modern and luxurious accommodation suites with views which are able to accommodate couples wishing for a romantic getaway or larger groups. For more details on each accommodation and how many they sleep, please visit our accommodation pages.


Simonsbath Sawmill

Simonsbath Sawmill is an historic, water-powered sawmill and estate workshops lying in a beautiful riverside location in the heart of Exmoor National Park.  The sawmill is no longer in regular operational use but is maintained in working condition and is used for demonstration purposes and as the venue for educational events and activities.  It is cared for by a small team of volunteers who help with maintenance, lead tours and are researching the history of the mill. Tours are free but donations towards the upkeep of the mill are very welcome. The volunteers are happy to open the mill for visits on other occasions by arrangement.

The sawmill is open to the public on the third Monday of every month, from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, when volunteers will be there to show people around.