Dorchester’s historic Shire Hall courthouse museum has just celebrated a highly successful first year.

More than 17,000 visitors have come through the doors, 7,365 cups of tea have been served, and 324 Halloween monsters created since the museum on High West Street opened on 1 May, 2018.


Shire Hall staff celebrate the museum’s first birthday

Each visitor takes an average of 514 steps around the courthouse and cells, which means the 17,018 visitors have taken more than 8,747,252 steps back in time, or 4,060 miles –roughly half way to Australia.

The 120 volunteers at the museum have put in 9,568 hours of their time for free to help visitors learn about social justice and injustice, and the cafe has become a popular community hub. There was also a lovely new addition to the Shire Hall family, as apprentice Nathanial Green became a father for the first time.

Conservation work on the Grade-I listed courthouse has also been shortlisted for the prestigious Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards, with the regional final on 22 May.

Shire Hall director Anna Bright said: “It’s been a wonderful year – it has flown by! From day one we have been overwhelmed by the support shown to us by the community in Dorchester.

“We would especially like to thank our volunteers and supporters for all their enthusiasm.”

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