Permanent Exhibitions

Ground Floor

Displays illustrate the lives of the people of Beaminster and its neighbouring communities from medieval to modern times: Beaminster Town Centre, town and country businesses, pubs & inns, police, leisure activities, Richard Hine.

With the help of an illuminated map you can discover for yourself the major historic buildings of the town.

DSCF1507The School Room is dedicated to the history of education in Beaminster where Frances Tucker founded a school in the seventeenth century.



Did you know that this little town has strong links with the iconic Henry the vacuum cleaner?  Visitors can explore other examples of twentieth century technology from local homes and workplaces.

As you wander up the stairs you can learn all about the importance and history of Horn Hill Tunnel.


Gallery ClockThe former chapel is best seen from this floor.  Its early nineteenth century organ, a fine example with original gilding, can be viewed and heard.  The turret clock from St. Andrew’s Church at Burstock is nearly 200 years old and has been brought back to working condition.

P1060925 copyThe geological wonders of Horn Park Quarry are revealed. Further displays introduce local archaeology and include finds from the excavation of a nearby Romano-British villa. 19th century agricultural and domestic life are featured, incorporating a visit to the grim workhouse and the story of Beaminster’s unlikely connection with Cathy Freeman, the Australian Aboriginal 400 metres gold medal winner. You can learn how times of war across the centuries affected the area.  A new (2014) section explores our flax and hemp heritage.

* Visitors with restricted mobility please note that access to the gallery is by staircase. We can offer a ‘virtual gallery guide’ in the form of a presentation on the computer in the downstairs reception area. Please ask the Stewards on duty if you would like to use this facility.


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