Our purpose

We are an ambitious, forward-thinking institution with amazing stories to tell.

Our mission is to create a place that engages visitors with the history of justice and injustice in Dorset, which inspires people to make a difference to society, politics, and justice for all.


Our Museum brings over two centuries of justice history to life.

Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum uncovers moving and important stories of everyday people’s interactions with the justice system since the late 18th century. It shows how the law affects all of us, and how we can also affect the law. The Museum makes this extraordinary building and these fascinating stories available and enjoyable for all.

From interactive galleries to the immersive cells and courtroom, Shire Hall offers something for everyone, from all backgrounds and of all ages.

Behind Shire Hall Museum lies the Shire Hall (Dorchester) Trust, an independent charity created to protect and share this rich building and its history.

Find out more about Shire Hall’s history here.


Shire Hall Museum is managed by the Shire Hall (Dorchester) Trust, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered charity number 1163252. Our polices, developed to guide the running of the Trust and the Museum, are available on request.


Join our Team

Our current vacancies are listed here



Find out more about our policies here