Free Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum tours

Shire Hall © Marcin Wisniewski

Caption: Shire Hall © Marcin Wisniewski

Dorchester, Events | Posted: Friday, August 24th, 2018 at 2:51 pm | return to news

Free Shire Hall Courthouse Museum tours

To celebrate Dorset’s hidden architectural heritage, Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum will be offering free behind the scenes tours.

Shire Hall © Marcin Wisniewski

Caption: Shire Hall © Marcin Wisniewski

Part of Dorset Architectural Heritage Week, tours will run daily at 3pm from 6-16 September, with additional 11am tours on 6-9 and 13-16 September.

These tours will take visitors away from the usual visitor routes and public parts of the building, and will go into more detail about the building itself and the things that can be discovered from these hidden bits of history.

The tours will take visitors down secret staircases and through doors that would normally be closed to the public.

Events manager, Harriet Still, said, “This building is a warren of passages and staircases – some leading sensibly from one part of the building to another and others coming to dead ends in cupboards. Most of the rooms have had several uses through their history – our office seems to have been a barristers’ office, a guards’ office and an armoury!

“It is amazing to work in a building that was serving our county for 200 years and see how the architecture of the building reflects the history of the county.”

After the massive renovation project that took place to convert the ex-West Dorset District Council offices in the museum, the staff are keen to share the stories that were revealed through the extensive work that was done.

Tours are limited to 10 people on a first come first served basis. Throughout the Dorset Architectural Heritage Week there will also be free activities on for families in the café and learning room.

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