Events at Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester

Ongoing

What: Experience the Tolpuddle Martyrs story like never before – via augmented reality!

When: Until June 14th

More info: Acclaimed artist Jason Wilsher-Mills interviewed descendants of the Tolpuddle Martyrs to create a new artwork for Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester. The exhibition will feature the six Dorset farm labourers brought to life through augmented reality.

Jason’s previous work with young disabled people, Brave Boy Billy, was displayed at the Tate Modern. Everything within the specially created artwork will have a meaning and visitors will see the story come to life and float in front of their eyes! So, come and experience the Martyrs’ story like you’ve never seen it before!

For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

April

What: Count Your Chickens – Easter at Shire Hall

When Easter holidays – April 6th to April 22th

More info: Join the team at Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum for a host of fun this Easter Holiday. There will be a Count Your Chickens Easter trail around the museum to keep youngsters entertained and every day there will be Easter biscuit decorating (11am-3pm) and Easter craft activities. The Count Your Chickens trail will be free with the admission price, while there will be a small extra charge for the biscuit decoration. For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

What: Behind the Scenes Tour

When: April 17th at 2pm

More info: Tour is £2 per person, in addition to a valid Museum Annual Pass. Limited availability. Booking advised, visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

What: Wicked Wessex – Witches in Wessex

When: April 20 – July 6, all day.

More info: Discover how those suspected of witchcraft were treated in Wessex, and see a scold’s bridle (on loan from Salisbury Museum.) It was used to punish people who were suspected of witchcraft. It was placed over the victim’s head, so they couldn’t speak, or more importantly, curse anyone!

This is one of the horrible punishments used during the 17th century witch trials that took place not just in Wessex, but across the whole of Europe. Some witches faced the stocks or ducking stool, others were hanged.

Free to visit with museum ticket. For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

May

What: Tolpuddle Man, with Graham Moore and James Findlay

When: May 17th at 8pm

More info: Graham Moore, James Findlay and company present songs and scenes from the renowned folk musical ‘Tolpuddle Man,’ within the original Old Crown Court, where the six Dorset labourers were tried in 1834. Tickets are £12 for adults and £10 for children. For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

What: Behind the Scenes Tour

When: May 22nd at 2pm

More info: Tour is £2 per person, in addition to a valid Museum Annual Pass. Limited availability. Booking advised, visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

What: Transportation, with Prof Oxley and Dr Meredith

When: May 26th at 1pm

More info: This talk, by Professor Deborah Oxley the Professor of Social Science History at University of Oxford and Dr David Meredith, the Associate Member of the University of Oxford’s History Faculty in Economic and Social History, examines transportation from England to Australia.

It looks at the consequences for the people and their nations, both the one they left and the one they made. From sneak thieves and murderers to political protesters, this talk examines the making of a working class.

Tickets costs £6.50, and this includes a soup lunch (served from 12pm). For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

What: Shire Hall Book Week

When: May 25th – June 2nd at 1pm

More info: Dress up as your favourite book character and come on down to Shire Hall to celebrate all our favourite stories. There will be a story trail as well as slime-making in the cells. Make your own pot of dragon snot or ogre earwax to take home! The story trail will be free with the admission price, while there will be a small extra charge for the slime-making. Dressed up children go free!*

*Up to two children go free with every full paying adult. For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

June

What: Hardy and Law Tours

When: June 2nd at 11am and 2pm.

More info: To celebrate Thomas Hardy’s birthday, Shire Hall are offering a tailored tour of Dorchester’s Crown Court and cells. Discover the inspiration behind some of Hardy’s most poignant plots, as well as the real life story of Hardy’s time on the bench. Tickets are £2 per person, in addition to a valid Museum Annual Pass. Places are limited, so booking is advised. Book in person, by telephone 01305 261849 or online shirehalldorset.org.

What: Meet the Artist – Jason Wilsher-Mills

When: June 7th from 6pm

More info: Come and meet the creator of the ground-breaking Tolpuddle Martyrs Remixed exhibition. Hear about Jason Wilsher-Mills’ journey to exhibiting in venues as wide ranging as Westminster Hall and the Tate Modern, as well as taking you through the creation of this unique, augmented reality exhibition. Tickets are £20 per person and include a drink and a smorgasbord supper of Dorset delights. For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

What: Behind the Scenes Tour

When: June 12th at 2pm

More info: Tour is £2 per person, in addition to a valid Museum Annual Pass. Limited availability. Booking advised, visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

What: Wicked Wessex Pop Up Talk: The Scold’s Bridle

When: June 27th at 1pm.

More info: Learn about the dark history of scold’s bridles, in a 15-minute whirlwind exploration of these gruesome objects. This event is free and is bookable on Eventbrite and through shirehalldorset.org.

What: Workshop – Jewellery workshop

When: June 29th from 10am – 4pm

More info: Caroline Parrott creates beautiful, colourful jewellery using hand printed and coloured aluminium.

This is an exciting opportunity join her and create your own unique jewellery, using anodised aluminium that you hand print 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. Tickets are £65 (includes all materials and lunch.) For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

July

What: Behind the Scenes Tour

When: July 10th at 2pm

More info: Tour is £2 per person, in addition to a valid Museum Annual Pass. Limited availability. Booking advised, visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849.

What: Down Gin Lane with the Grey Bear Bar Company.

When: July 12th at 7pm

More info: Join Grey Bear Bar Co.’s Master Mixologist Lloyd Brown on a trip down Hogarth’s Gin Lane. Lloyd will lead us through an evening of social history and – you’ve got it – gin!

From the Georgian period of gin-fuelled debauchery to the modern craft gin movement. All this against the atmospheric setting of Shire Hall’s Georgian courtroom and cells.

Includes a G&T on arrival followed by two cocktails and two gin samples, and a smorgasbord of Dorset delights. Tickets are £30 each. For more information visit shirehalldorset.org or call 01305 261849

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