Welcome to the Portland Museum Website

“The treasure on the Island”

Situated in the ancient hamlet of Wakeham and above the cove at Church Ope, Portland’s Museum was founded in 1930 by Dr Marie Stopes in two early 17th century stone cottages. Inspired by one of these cottages, Wessex author Thomas Hardy made it the home of Avice, the heroine in his novel “The Wellbeloved”.

Today the museum houses many of the artifacts associated with the history and culture of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, and tells the story of local industry, the sea, the prisons and the people.

The museum is now open Monday to Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. until the end of October 2018. Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time. * Saturday 15th we will be opening at 11:40 due to a private tour.*

If you would be interested in joining our friendly team of volunteers at the museum please contact Lucy, the museum administrator, by phone or email – or pop in for a coffee! We would be delighted to welcome anyone interested. We are holding a volunteer recruitment day on Friday 20th April from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the museum.

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 …