What: February half term Pirate week

When: February 17th to 21st.

More info: There will be swash-bucklin’ fun aplenty and Shire Hall’s half term Pirate Week. Kids dressed as pirates go free, when accompanied by a paying adult. There will be a treasure hunt, parrot spotting, film nights, and visitors can create their own wanted poster. This includes Pirate film nights! On February 18th at 3.30pm will be Pirates of the Caribbean and on February 20th at 3.30pm will be Pirates in an adventure with Scientists. (*£4 per child, parents go free.) For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

What: Jewellery workshop with Caroline Parrott

When: February 29th from 10am – 4pm. Price £65 per person. (Lunch is included in the price.)

More info: Create your own unique jewellery, using anodised aluminium that you handprint and dye as part of the workshop. Students typically create 5 different pieces in a day including, earrings, bangles and pendants. Suitable for beginners and those with experience of jewellery making. Please bring and apron and wear old clothes as dyes can stain permanently. For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.


What: Drinks in the clink: Piratical Rum Night

When: March 13th at 7pm

More info: Discover your inner pirate at a rum-fuelled night at Shire Hall! Your host is David, Grey Bear Bar Co.’s Master Mixologist. He will take you on a trip to the Caribbean, with the origins of rum and the triangular trade, look at naval connection, of course, piracy! Includes a drink on arrival followed by two cocktails and two rum samples, and a selection of nibbles. As the evenings draw in, treat yourself to a spirit-ed night out that will warm you up from your head to your toes! Tickets £25 per person and booking is essential. For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

What: Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea special

When: March 22nd 11am-4pm

More info: Treat mum to an extra special Afternoon Tea in Shire Hall Café, this Mothers’ Day. Includes a selection of finger sandwiches, miniature cream tea, a range of cakes and Eton mess, as well as a cheeky glass of fizz and a cup of tea. Tickets £12.50 per head (minimum of two). Bookings must be made in advance please call 01305 261849 or email [email protected].


What: Teas and talks – For the Benefit of Example

When: Sunday, April 26th at 1pm.

More info: In the Georgian period, men and women sentenced to death by the West Country’s assize courts were usually executed either at the county gaol or on traditional hanging grounds sited on the peripheries of the region’s county towns. By the 1790s, most of these executions were carried out on purpose built scaffolds with trapdoor systems – a practice considered quicker, cleaner and more economically efficient. So why where crime-scene hangings still taking place in the region as late as 1830? This talk seeks answers in local geography and in the customary principle of exemplary justice. Tickets £6, for more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.


What: Teas and Talks – Whispers and Cries

When: Sunday, June 28th at 1pm.

More info: This lecture traces the evolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth century British courtroom as it evolved from a plain open space into a complex theatre of justice. Along the way, it suggests that the changing architecture of the courtroom evidences the development of new relationships between defendants, judges, juries and witnesses. Along the way, it explores how we can better understand courts such Shire Hall, and the experience of the defendants tried there for their liberty and their lives. Tickets £6, for more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

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