Latest news

A timeline of LGBTQ+ law and justice.

A timeline of LGBTQ+ law and justice.

7th February 2024
For LGBTQ+ History Month, explore over 500 years of LGBTQ+ law and justice in the UK.
Applications Open for Shire Hall’s Christmas Market!

Applications Open for Shire Hall’s Christmas Market!

Applications are now open for Shire Hall Museum's Christmas Market!
Harry Parker

Harry Parker

10th January 2024
Discover the incredible story of seven year old Harry Parker, arrested and brought to Shire Hall for setting fire to a stable in Wareham.
Christmas Day in Victorian Prisons

Christmas Day in Victorian Prisons

14th December 2023
What did Christmas Day look like in a Victorian prison? Read this blog to find out more.
James Hammett – A silent hero

James Hammett – A silent hero

4th December 2023
Discover the story of James Hammett, one of the six Tolpuddle Martyrs.
Nina Corey, Director of Shire Hall Museum, to take on new role!

Nina Corey, Director of Shire Hall Museum, to take on new role!

1st December 2023
Nina Corey, Director of Shire Hall Museum, will be leaving to take up the role of CEO at the Leeds Library.
Priscilla Penfold

Priscilla Penfold

30th October 2023
Priscilla Penfold was on trial at Shire Hall when she was just 12 years old. Discover more about Priscilla's fascinating life in our latest blog.
What brought an end to smuggling?

What brought an end to smuggling?

18th September 2023
With our 'Smugglers: Beneath the Surface' exhibition at a close, take a look back at some of the reason smuggling began to decline throughout the 19th century.
Where did you come from, where did you go? – The role of the Grand Jury in English Courts

Where did you come from, where did you go? – The role of the Grand Jury in English Courts

11th September 2023
In England, the Grand Jury was abolished in 1933. But where did it come from and where did it go?
Petty Sessions, Quarter Sessions, and Assizes. What are they?

Petty Sessions, Quarter Sessions, and Assizes. What are they?

17th August 2023
The Petty Sessions, Quarter Sessions and Assizes made up the British legal system until 1972. But what were they?
5 things you might not know about smuggling!

5 things you might not know about smuggling!

9th August 2023
As part of our Smugglers: Beneath the Surface exhibition, here are 5 fascinating smugglers facts that you might not know!
Bethia Mitchell – One in Twenty Thousand

Bethia Mitchell – One in Twenty Thousand

7th July 2023
Bethia Mitchell's story exemplifies the experience of 20,000+ women that were sentenced to transportation to Australia between 1787-1868.
Applications Open for Shire Hall’s Summer Market!

Applications Open for Shire Hall’s Summer Market!

4th May 2023
Applications are now open for Shire Hall Museum's Summer Market!
Elijah Upjohn – The man who executed Ned Kelly.

Elijah Upjohn – The man who executed Ned Kelly.

3rd April 2023
Discover a phenomenal story which carriers 16 year old Elijah Upjohn from the town of Shaftesbury to becoming the hangman of Melbourne jail.
A Tiger has come for Tea at Shire Hall Museum!

A Tiger has come for Tea at Shire Hall Museum!

16th March 2023
The Tiger Who Came to Tea exhibition has launched at Shire Hall Museum!
Shire Hall Museum to host a British Museum Spotlight Loan Crossings: community and refuge

Shire Hall Museum to host a British Museum Spotlight Loan Crossings: community and refuge

22nd November 2022
Opening on 2nd December 2022, this exhibition will engage audiences in questions of identity, belonging and sharing our world.
Halloween Through the Ages

Halloween Through the Ages

12th October 2022
Join us on a brief history of Halloween through the ages.
Spooktacular Fun at Shire Hall Museum this Half-Term!

Spooktacular Fun at Shire Hall Museum this Half-Term!

20th September 2022
From Monday 24th to Saturday 29th October, Shire Hall Museum will become home to spooky-family friendly fun!
New Director at Shire Hall Museum, meet Nina!

New Director at Shire Hall Museum, meet Nina!

15th August 2022
Nina will be joining Shire Hall in October.
Raising Voices: Charlotte Bryant

Raising Voices: Charlotte Bryant

12th August 2022
Explore the story of Charlotte Bryant, the mother whose story remains a mystery to us to this day.
Raising Voices: Elizabeth Martha Brown

Raising Voices: Elizabeth Martha Brown

11th August 2022
As part of our Raising Voices series, discover the story of Elizabeth Martha Brown, an inspiration of Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles'
Raising Voices: Violet Van Der Elst

Raising Voices: Violet Van Der Elst

10th August 2022
As part of our Raising Voices series, explore the story of Violet Van Der Elst, whose controversial campaign saught to bring an end to capital punishment.
Dorchester Supersleuth 2022!

Dorchester Supersleuth 2022!

16th June 2022
Dorchester BID and Shire Hall Museum have partnered up to create this summer's Supersleuth trail, in celebration of the Museum's Agatha Christie exhibition.
The History of Afternoon Tea

The History of Afternoon Tea

27th May 2022
Often seen as quintessentially British, many of you may be preparing an afternoon tea to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, but where did it originate?
Raising Voices: Women in the Criminal Justice System

Raising Voices: Women in the Criminal Justice System

13th April 2022
As part of our Raising Voices series, this blog explores women in the criminal justice system today and if very much has changed.
Easter Traditions

Easter Traditions

28th March 2022
Easter traditions appear to be a mix between pagan and Christian traditions and over the years many traditions have arisen depending on where you live.
Shire Hall Museum launches Raising Voices: Women and the Justice System

Shire Hall Museum launches Raising Voices: Women and the Justice System

7th March 2022
Shire Hall Museum’s new series will focus on the stories of three women, all involved with the criminal justice system at Shire Hall.
Who were the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and why are they still important?

Who were the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and why are they still important?

24th February 2022
It's been over 180 years since the Tolpuddle Martyrs were on trial at Shire Hall, but their legacy is still important.
Shire Hall Museum to receive £167,500 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Shire Hall Museum to receive £167,500 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

21st December 2021
Shire Hall Museum has received a grant of £167,500 from the Government’s latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover from the imp
A Year for Justice: Shire Hall Museum 2022 programme

A Year for Justice: Shire Hall Museum 2022 programme

12th November 2021
A British Museum exhibition, Agatha Christie and much more- Shire Hall Museum announces its programme of activities for 2022.
Discover the Tolpuddle Legacy at Shire Hall

Discover the Tolpuddle Legacy at Shire Hall

1st September 2021
Shire Hall's new exhibition 'the Tolpuddle Legacy' explores how award-winning artist Jason Wilsher-Mill has been influenced by the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
Transport Yourself to Georgian Dorset at Shire Hall!

Transport Yourself to Georgian Dorset at Shire Hall!

20th June 2021
From 10th July until 4th September, Shire Hall is hosting a new exhibition ‘Georgian Dorset’, in partnership with Weymouth Museum.
Shire Hall Midsummer Market!

Shire Hall Midsummer Market!

1st June 2021
On Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th June, Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum is welcoming visitors to its first Mid-Summer Market!
Dorchester Museum Shire Hall Opens its Doors Again!

Dorchester Museum Shire Hall Opens its Doors Again!

10th May 2021
Following the Government announcement, Shire Hall is delighted to welcome visitors back from Monday 17th May.
Shire Hall Wedding, Confetti in the Courtroom!

Shire Hall Wedding, Confetti in the Courtroom!

10th February 2020
Couples exchange vows in historic courtroom, as Shire Hall hosts its first wedding.