The Museum

Visiting the Museum

Hilda Coles (1907-1987), granddaughter of the first ironmonger, owned the building, and with the Wimborne Historical Society opened a small museum and library in 1962.

Initially, the museum consisted of three rooms on the ground floor, run for 25 years by Hilda with a team of volunteers and support from the local community. She died in 1987, and the house and garden were left to the Governors of Wimborne Minster, a local charitable trust. Hilda requested that the building should be used as a museum for the town and district, and provided an endowment income.

The building was restored in partnership with East Dorset District Council, chiefly between 1990 and 1991. The most obvious change was the reconstructed 18th century shop frontage with bow windows and shutters.

Inside a series of permanent displays were implemented between 1991 and 1995 under the direction of successive curators, in 10 rooms now open to the public today. Some reflect the history of the building, its inhabitants, and the domestic and shop settings from the 17th to 19th centuries.