Portland Museum



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Portland Museum was founded by family-planning pioneer Dr Marie Stopes in 1930, and comprises two 17th-century thatched cottages and a modern extension. One of the cottages was known as 'Avice's Cottage' in Thomas Hardy's The Well-Beloved, and this now tells the story of Portland Stone and the Jurassic Coast. The adjoining Marie Stopes Cottage houses a display of maritime and local history, including displays on Portland prisons, railways, and Victoriana. The gallery features the history of John Penn, Thomas Hardy and Marie Stopes, as well as local customs and archaeology. Events are held throughout the year.

Portland Museum
217 Wakeham,PORTLAND,DT5 1HS


  • Suitable for children of all ages
  • Parking nearby
  • Facilities: Portable ramp
Opening times
  • Opening Times: Open Easter-Oct, 5 days a week (see website for opening days and times)

About the area

Discover Dorset

Dorset means rugged varied coastlines and high chalk downlands. Squeezed in among the cliffs and set amid some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery is a chain of picturesque villages and seaside towns. Along the coast you’ll find the Lulworth Ranges, which run from Kimmeridge Bay in the east to Lulworth Cove in the west. Together with a stretch of East Devon, this is Britain’s Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, noted for its layers of shale and numerous fossils embedded in the rock. Among the best-known natural landmarks on this stretch of the Dorset coast is Durdle Door, a rocky arch that has been shaped and sculpted to perfection by the elements. The whole area has the unmistakable stamp of prehistory.

Away from Dorset’s magical coastline lies a landscape with a very different character and atmosphere, but one that is no less appealing. Here, winding, hedge-lined country lanes lead beneath lush, green hilltops to snug, sleepy villages hidden from view and the wider world. The people of Dorset are justifiably proud of the achievements of Thomas Hardy, its most famous son, and much of the county is immortalised in his writing. 

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