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Upcoming Events

July: New Gallery! Dorset at War, Saturday 8th July 2017 

We are delighted to announce the opening of a new gallery portraying the military history of Dorchester and the County of Dorset through history. Concentrating on the human dimension, the gallery will tell a number of personal stories of Dorset soldiers and their families.

Among these stories are the experience and sacrifice of three Dorset soldiers during the catastrophic events of the First World War.

  • Horace Collier, a Dorset Regiment soldier from Cerne Abbas killed in the first weeks of the war, leaving behind a sweetheart, Birdie Amey.
  • “Skip” Wheller, a poet, musician and true Dorchester character, who somehow survived the horrors of Mesopotamia with humour intact.
  • Reuben Hansford, a young Dorset Yeoman killed on Gallipoli, who left behind an extraordinary personal archive.

The unique objects to feature in the new gallery will include:

  • The Dorset ARP Bomb Map, showing the location of every bomb dropped on Dorset in World War II.
  • An Operations Board from RAF Warmwell, showing the ops flown from there by Westland Whirlwind fighter-bombers, attacking targets in Occupied France.
  • The Captain’s pennant flown from the flag bridge of HMS Dorsetshire when she sank with her torpedoes the German pocket battleship Bismarck.

The exhibition will be officially opened at 11:30 on Friday 7th July 2017 by John Young, MC, JP, DL, High Sherriff of Dorset, and open to the public from Saturday 8th July 2017.

For further information or to attend the exhibition opening please contact the Curator, Chris Copson on 01305 264 066,

July: Kids go free - Saturday 22nd July - Saturday 9th September 2017

There is something for all the family at the Keep this summer holiday! You can dress up in military uniforms, find all the trench rats in the museum and even walk through a First World War trench! 

For more information contact the Deputy Curator:







July: The Dorsets at Dunkirk

In partnership with the Plaza Cinema Dorchester

July - August: World War 1 handling kit events

A chance to hear the history behind the Keep's World War One artefacts, you have the chance to try on a uniform and even pick up a rifle! Sessions will be held throughout the summer and are free with admission and don't forget all kids under 16 are free this summer! Times are subject to change, we may run longer sessions, all times will be updated. If you have any questions please email the Deputy Curator: or call us on 01305 264 066

Tuesday 25th July 10:00 – 14:00
Thursday 27th July 10:-14:00
Thursday 3rd August 10:00 – 14:00
Tuesday 8th August 10:00 – 14:00
Thursday 10th August 10:00 – 14:00
Tuesday 15th August 10:00 – 14:00
Thursday 17th August 10:00 – 14:00
Tuesday 22nd August  10:00 – 14:00
Thursday 24th August 10:00 – 14:00
Tuesday 29th August 10:00 – 14:00
Thursday 31st August 10:00 – 14:00