The Galleries

A contemporary new gallery building, designed by Carmody Groarke Architects, will be constructed at the centre of the Museum site. This new building, offering three distinct levels of galleries and basement archive, will connect with the existing Victorian building via a double height circulation space.

The galleries will take the visitor on a compelling journey through 250 million years of history, from a time when the geographical area of present day Dorset was a hot arid desert, to the contrasting, beautiful working landscape and county we know today.

In order to create this rich and many layered learning experience we need a completely new series of galleries revealing the geological, environmental and human forces that have shaped the area over 250 million years.

Not many museums present a total view of a place: a geology, ecology, archaeology, history, art, literature and the links between them. This exciting piece of new architecture will enable us to do it for Dorset. It will exhibit the collections to the best advantage and preserve those not on display. It will be a theatre of the imagination accessible to everyone.

Max Hebditch, DNHAS Trustee. Former Director of the Museum of London and a President of the Museums Association.