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Outside view of Sherborne Museum

Sherborne Museum is centrally located in the heart of this beautiful Dorset town and occupies what was formerly the Almonry belonging to the Abbey, now a grade II listed building.

A registered charity (no.306251), the Museum has independent status and was the first volunteer-run museum in Dorset to receive full Accreditation.

Opening in 1968, Sherborne Museum evolved from the town's Historical Society, which was its founding body. From the outset, it aimed to be an independent museum representing the history and life of Sherborne and its environs. Its principal benefactor was Frederick Marsden who purchased the Abbey Gatehouse and presented it to the Association, together with an Honorarium Fund. There were few artefacts at the beginning, so founder members of the Association James Gibb and Ruth Gervis created a range of displays and models several of which we still exhibit.

Another view of Sherborne Museum
Artefacts continued to be donated by local people and in time the Museum started to run out of space. Then, in 1994 we had the opportunity to purchase the adjoining shoe shop thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and West Dorset District Council. It transpired that this property was originally the Almonry of the Monastery and increased our display area by 60%, although we still lacked storage and workroom space.

In 2007, the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society moved into what had been the Conservative Club next door and they agreed to sub-let to us what had been the Old Billiard Room. This provided us with a significantly larger area in which to work on conservation and store our reserve collections.

These three major steps aided the development of our town Museum which continues to serve the community of Sherborne and its outlying villages.

Admission fees are £1 for adults, with all children up to the age of 18 entering free. The disabled and, if desired, one accompanying carer are also free as are students, Sherborne Museum Association members (on production of the appropriate cards) and teachers accompanying school visits.

Donations covering organised parties are usually arranged immediately prior to/post visit and the steward on duty will be informed.

Opening times
Our open season usually runs from the week before Easter until a few days before Christmas, from Tuesdays to Saturdays inclusive, 10.30 am - 4.30 pm with last entries at 4 pm. During the winter we are open from 10.30 am - 12.30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays when admission to all is free. Donations are always welcome, however!   Out of hours visits can also be arranged.


The curator and research team are generally available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for appointments or drop-in queries. Otherwise phone us on 01935 812252 or leave your question at

President: John Firmin
Chairman: Barry Brock
Curator:   Elisabeth Bletsoe
Silk Moth!

Find the 7 Silk Moths hidden around our website pages!

We are supported by our Members' Association, West Dorset District Council, Dorset County Council, Sherborne Town Council, the former MLA and the current Arts Council England to all of whom we extend our appreciation and gratitude.

Arts Council England Dorset County Council West Dorset District Council

Dorset Museums Association

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