Dorchester’s newest museum does the double with two awards at the Dorset Tourism Awards – including Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

The Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum Team were ‘over the moon’ to win two awards at the prestigious Dorset Tourism Awards.

Dorchester’s newest museum, on High West Street, scooped the Gold and Silver awards at the Dorset Tourism Awards last night. There were cheers as they won Gold in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year and a Silver in the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award category. This year, the Dorset Tourism Awards were held at the Tank Museum.

Director of Shire Hall, Anna Bright, said that since opening, the museum has aimed to be inclusive for all, so to win Gold in Small Visitor Attraction of the Year and a Silver award for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism was very special. She said: “We’re delighted, we have always aimed to make Shire Hall a place where everyone can come, learn and enjoy, no matter their age or ability, so to win these awards is incredibly important and special to us. We’d like to thank all the team, staff, volunteers and supporters for their help, dedication and enthusiasm for the Museum – you really make it the amazing place it is!”

Since it opened in May 2018, the Museum has championed social justice, hosting ground-breaking exhibitions on subjects like the Civil Rights Movement in the UK and US and its current exhibition, which is on tour from the British Museum, Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ histories. Far from a stuffy museum, the courthouse is a thriving community hub, hosting spooky Halloween events for families this half term, drinks tasting events throughout the autumn and film nights for Christmas.

For more information about forthcoming events visit