Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum



Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum

High West Street
01305 261849
Weekday opening 10.00 - 16.00
Saturday opening 10.00 - 16.00
Sunday opening 10.00 - 16.00


Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester brings over 200 years of justice and injustice to life.

An interactive ‘living’ museum, it uses real-life stories and iPad guides to let visitors walk in the footsteps of those whose lives were changed or even ended by their experiences in there.

Shire Hall’s impressive courtroom is best known as the setting for the Tolpuddle Martyrs trial, who were sentenced to transportation to Australia in 1824. The backlash that followed would lead to the formation of the modern-day Trade Union movement.

Alongside the museum, Shire Hall offers interactive learning for schools, from Foundation years right through to Key Stage 5. From British Values, to History, English and PHSE, Shire Hall’s building and stories can stimulate learning across the curriculum.

Shire Hall café offers a delicious selection of fresh, locally-produced food and drink in its airy mezzanine café. The Shire Hall Café can also be booked for evening functions.

Join us at Shire Hall this May Half-Term for a week packed full of swash-bucklin’ fun! -Kids dressed as pirates go free! -Treasure Hunt! -Parrot Spotting! -Create your own wanted poster! -Enjoy breakfast with a Pirate!

Please let Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum know that you found them via the dorchesterdorset website when you visit or call. Giving this feedback will be very helpful to our future development.

finding Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum
Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum