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“About the free audio guide”

Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum
Ranked #8 of 47 things to do in Dorchester
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Shire Hall is a brand new Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester, Dorset. Discover the stories of people whose lives were changed, and in some cases ended, by their experiences in this building. Walk through the cells in the footsteps of the thousands of accused people waiting to discover their fate upstairs in the court. There are digital interactives, wigs, gowns and hats to try on, and lots of surprises to discover! This is a great day out for all the family.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Baby buggy parking, Wheelchair access, Stairs / lift, Activities for young children, Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 3 May 2018

A thoroughly enjoyable experience. Well worth a visit

A word to the wise: there is a free audio tour available, this gives the option of listening to four stories of people who have been processed through the court e.g. the Tolpuddle Martyrs and the last woman to be hanged in Dorset. The cells were common to all prisoners; it was the courtroom where the different stories were applicable. We wanted to hear all four cases, but were told that we would have to return to Reception to have our audio players reset. Fortunately, a helpful volunteer showed us how to do this, so we sat in the court and listened to all four cases. Reception should tell all visitors how to reset their audio guides.

2  Thank bathexile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"court room"
in 4 reviews
"audio tour"
in 4 reviews
"holding cells"
in 3 reviews
"tolpuddle martyrs"
in 12 reviews
"very helpful staff"
in 3 reviews
"civil rights"
in 2 reviews
"exhibition upstairs"
in 2 reviews
"all ages"
in 3 reviews
"fascinating insight"
in 2 reviews
"return visit"
in 2 reviews
"gift shop"
in 3 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 5 reviews
"local history"
in 2 reviews
"courtroom"
in 12 reviews
"prisoners"
in 6 reviews
"trial"
in 4 reviews
"wig"
in 3 reviews
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47 - 51 of 54 reviews

Reviewed 10 April 2018 via mobile

Museum opens May 1st
I am volunteering so have had sneak preview it will be amazing learn about the justice system follow cases stand in the dock visit the cells
Loads of interaction for children amazing graphics
The cafe and shop will be great
It will be well worth a visit

3  Thank Susan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2015

Happened to be passing by and noticed that tours were available during the day. Called back later and were taken on a lovely tour round the cells and court. Our host was very informative and passionate about the building and history of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. The cells were really atmospheric and walking from the cells into the court you got a an insight of how the prisoners felt when being brought up into the court to be judged. Can't wait for all the work to be finished and will certainly be back when its complete.

4  Thank Robert R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2015 via mobile

Just happened to notice the old court was open for a short time during half term.

This was an excellent guided tour to see what it was really like to be the accused nearly 200 years ago

A chance to see it before it is renovated.

My seven year old grandson was impressed if not a bit frightened by the cells.

2  Thank Mervyn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 August 2015

The tour was very interesting and brought everything to life. The child (9 year old) in our party enjoyed it too.

2  Thank KP5859
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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