Welcome to Portland Museum

“The treasure on the Island”

Portland Museum is delighted to announce that we will be continuing to show Dan Shorten’s ‘Of Sea & Stone’ across the interior of the museum in Avice’s Cottage until September 25th 2021. ‘Of Sea & Stone’ is a 10 minute projection lightshow that is inspired by community-led research for ‘The History, Myths and Legends of Church Ope Cove’ project: a b-side and Portland Museum partnership, funded by Arts Council England. Of Sea & Stone was originally projected onto Rufus Castle as part of b-side festival 2021. The work uses light, colour, figurative and abstract images to transform the surface of the model of the castle Dan has created for us, to create bold patterns and imagery. ‘Astounding’ ‘Breathtaking’ and ‘Everything I love about Portland’ were among the lovely messages we received about the festival showing. The projection was a well attended and moving event for everyone who viewed it and we are glad to have this opportunity to share it with you for a little longer.  
We are open seven days a week through September, and, for October, Tuesday – Saturday. We look forward to extending you a warm and Covid-safe welcome throughout 2021. And, thanks to a grant from Portland Town Council, Islanders can now visit us free upon proof of residency.
Please see our About Us, Opening Times and Costs page for more details on what you can expect with regards to keeping visitors Covid-safe.

Dinosaurs, shipwrecks and smugglers, Roman and Viking invasions, stone carving, seafaring, ground breaking scientists and world-famous authors: Portland Museum packs in an astonishing collection that reflects the history and people of this exceptional island community!

Portland Museum is a gem – tucked away in a beautiful corner of the island in two cottages dating to the seventeenth century, a stone’s throw from Rufus Castle and the stunning Church Ope Cove, on the South West Coast Path.

Although joined to the mainland by a tombolo, (a wave formed beach) the island has always been regarded, and self-identified, as somewhere different and the museum’s collection reflects this.

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! 


If you would like to join our friendly team of volunteers, please contact our museum manager, Lucy, by phone or email.

Portland People


People are known to have lived on Portland since Neolithic times and over the centuries the island has hosted foreign invaders, pirates, military garrisons, convicts, sailors, itinerate workers and artists read more …

Maritime Portland

The museum houses a range of artefacts and information telling the story of Portland’s maritime history. Displays include items recovered from numerous wrecks read more …

Portland Stone


The museum’s stone exhibition, housed in “Avice’s” cottage, tells the story of the Portland stone industry, from quarrying and processing to its use in prestige buildings and memorials around the world read more …

Jurassic Portland


Portland sits proud and central on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast; a World Heritage site. The museum houses a fascinating collection of fossils dating back hundreds of millions of years read more …