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Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum

Closed Now: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Open today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Review Highlights
A must visit whilst in Dorchester

Very interesting insight into the areas criminal justice history. Very nicely refurbished and a... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Nicola R
Johannesburg, South Africa
A Must…..

We received a warm welcome – we gift aided as every museum needs our support - in return we got an... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Ware, United Kingdom
Read all 73 reviews
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Traveler Overview
  • Excellent87%
  • Very good12%
  • Average1%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“court room”(5 reviews)
“audio tour”(5 reviews)
“holding cells”(4 reviews)
Shire Hall is a brand new Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester, Dorset. Discover the stories of people whose lives were changed, and in some cases ended, by their experiences in this building. Walk through the cells in the footsteps of the...more
Closed Now
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
See all hours
Suggested duration: 2-3 hours
Shire Hall, High West Street, Dorchester DT1 1UY, England
+44 1305 261849
Reviews (73)
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All reviewscourt roomaudio tourholding cellstolpuddle martyrsindividual storiescivil rightsfun afternoonannual ticketvery helpful staffall ageswell worth a visitexhibition upstairsfascinating insightreturn visitgift shoplocal historycourtroom
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1 - 10 of 73 reviews
Reviewed yesterday

Very interesting insight into the areas criminal justice history. Very nicely refurbished and a very friendly informative staff members. Audio guide is easy to use, interesting and clearly heard. Really enjoyed my visit and the cream tea afterwards in the inviting tea room

1  Thank Nicola R
Reviewed 3 days ago

We received a warm welcome – we gift aided as every museum needs our support - in return we got an annual pass with an excellent audio tour – for me unlike other experiences with audio equipment this one was convenient with a proper headphones...More

1  Thank PeteD60
Reviewed 5 days ago

Called in to Shire Hall recently and did the tour and was really amazed at the transformation having seen the cells and courtroom many years ago. Also had excellent lunch in the café, very good food and not overpriced. You can go to the café...More

2  Thank Carol P
Reviewed 6 days ago

This short self guided tour is enhanced by the use of a good audio guide system which provides interesting facts about your visit with key markers to enable the visitor to tour at their own pace. After a short introduction to the town of Dorchester...More

2  Thank krakatoa56
Reviewed 6 days ago

A wonderful place of historical history,where the Tolpuddle Martyrs were tried and sentenced to transportation to Australia, they were the first trade union members who were charged with being members of a secret society, history brought to life,well worth a visit

1  Thank davidmay37
Reviewed 1 week ago

This building, dating from 1797, has only reopened this year, after extensive refurbishment to make it more accessable to the public. Although possibly a bit pricey,the exhibits and subtitled explainations were well presented and child friendly, with an interactive court game and costumes to dress...More

3  Thank john c
Reviewed 1 week ago

Interesting eclectic collection in an impressive building Enjoyed the variety of history art and archaeology

1  Thank J2143X
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We weren't sure about going into this museum as we'd not read anything about it and the entrance was a bit plain/didn't really explain what it was. But it was relatively inexpensive so we gave it a go - and I can not stress how...More

2  Thank Georgia T
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I visited the museum with a 7 year old and an 11 year old and we all really enjoyed it. They had an interactive iPad for the kids and audio tours for the adults and older kids (our 11 year old went with the audio...More

4  Thank davevest
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Interesting view of history of justice system. Staff helpful and informative. Cafe food and drinks good quality.

3  Thank Gary S
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
29 May 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Anna B | Property representative |
Hi there, we have worked hard to make Shire Hall as accessible as possible. The short answer is that there is non-stepped access, and a lift to all floors. There are some narrow doorways - we have tested wheelchairs of 60cm... More
Linda B
2 May 2018|
Response from Anna B | Property representative |
Hi Linda, ticket prices are: Adult £8.50, Child £4.50, Family £20, Concessions £7.50. Price includes free repeat visits for a year when you gift aid your ticket. There is a gift shop and cafe which both have free entry.
Linda B
2 May 2018|
Response from MsR1960 |
£8.50 for adult annual pass £7.50 for concession annual pass Unsure of children and family tickets. Will be on website.