About The Museum

Dinosaurs, fossils, shipwrecks and smugglers, stone carving, seafaring, groundbreaking scientists and world-famous authors: Portland Museum packs in an astonishing collection that reflects the history and people of this distinctive island community.

Portland Museum is a gem, tucked away in a beautiful corner of the island in two seventeenth century cottages, a stone’s throw from Rufus Castle and the stunning Church Ope Cove.

Although joined to the mainland by the world famous Chesil Beach, the Isle of Portland has always been regarded, and self-identified, as somewhere different; a quality reflected throughout the museum’s collection.

Staffed by volunteers from the local community, Portland Museum looks forward to welcoming visitors eager to find out about author Thomas Hardy and museum founder Dr Marie Stopes’ connections to the island. Ancient superstitions in witchcraft, getting up close and personal with a Jurassic sea monster or finding out about the Nanny Diamonds, Portland Museum has something to interest everyone.


Portland Museum’s mission is to promote the history and heritage of the Isle of Portland by making accessible the collection of objects, archives and images that tell the story of the island from its earliest times to the present day. We aim to educate, inspire and encourage interest in the Isle of Portland through collecting, conserving and displaying objects relating to Portland’s social, industrial, maritime, geological and archaeological heritage. We are committed to working with our community to extend the range and diversity of the collection and its storytelling through innovative and creative means.

Portland Museum is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all its activities and strives to create a work place that reflects the community we serve. We welcome everyone irrespective of age, gender, ability, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

How We Are Funded

Portland Museum is an independent registered Charitable Trust run almost entirely by volunteers. 

The museum relies on the generosity of individuals, other charities and sponsors to support the conservation and care of collections, the on-going update of exhibits, its educational programme and community activities.

If you have an interest in local history or would just like to support a valuable community asset, why not join the Friends of Portland Museum via our email address and help ensure the continuation of the museum.

If you would like to learn more about The Isle of Portland, Dorset and the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, please visit the excellent resources and websites via the links here:



We are part of the Dorset Museum Network and are proud to be just one of many historical attractions on Portland and this part of Dorset. Here are a few links to some of our friends and partners.





As a charity, we are only able to continue running with the generosity of time and donations from individuals and organisations.

Please get in touch if you would like to help.