About The Museum

Dinosaurs, shipwrecks and smugglers, Roman and Viking invasions, stone carving, seafaring, groundbreaking 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.

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 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.