Sturminster Newton Museum


Sturminster Newton Museum is housed in a historic and attractive building of 16th century origin situated in the town centre. Over the years this interesting building has been a shop, a tearoom, solicitors offices and Town Council Offices. Sturminster Newton Museum and Mill Society owns and runs the Museum.

Permanent exhibits in the Museum cover aspects of the main history of the town. These include the rise and fall of the cattle market, the history of the “milk factory” or creamery, where prize-winning cheeses were once made, and details of local literary connections with Thomas Hardy, William Barnes and Robert Young. There is a display focusing on the famous mosaic (now in the British Museum) found at Hinton St Mary in 1963. It is thought to be the first depiction of Christ in mosaic form.

Upstairs, in the ‘Railway Room’, there is a scale model of the former Sturminster Newton station (closed in 1966) and the adjacent livestock market. Our model is working and provides young visitors with much entertainment. We are also displaying memorabilia from the staff and station and information on the Somerset & Dorset Railway in general.

In 2019 we have chosen three themes for special exhibitions:

Sturminster’s Literary Connections
This includes exhibits about the lives of William Barnes, Robert Young and Thomas Hardy and supports the Town’s new literary festival planned for June 15th.

Prices at the Market
2019 marks the 800th anniversary of the first granting of a Royal Charter to Sturminster to hold a fair by Henry III. The exhibition traces prices throughout the Market’s history and relates this to the coinage in use at the time.

How we used to entertain ourselves
This is a display of games and amusements that were popular before the rise of modern mass media.

Entry to the Museum is free. For further information, contact details and opening times, please visit our website at