World Heritage Museums

Open Every Day 7 Days a Week 10.00am – 5.00pm (winter hours: 10.00am – 4pm)

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About Us

Established in 1984 The Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester was the first museum in Britain solely devoted to the fascinating world of Dinosaurs.

History / Background

Passionate about Dinosaurs, Dorset locals Michael and Jackie Ridley wanted to create a place where adults and children alike could discover and explore the great history of the Jurassic coast. Their devotions to presenting interesting information in exciting and invigorating ways lead them to pioneer many new techniques in the museum environment. They were the first museum to use computers in a display. They also invented the famous "Feely Box" a technique, which is now used by museums worldwide. There work has been the inspiration to many establishments all over the world who wanted to take away and adapt ideas for their own attractions.

It has also been a feature on many children's television programmes including Blue Peter, The Really Wild Show, Tickabilla, Words & Pictures, and the Tweenies.


As a private and independent museum we are supported solely on the funds from ticket sales and gift shop paid by visitors. We aim to provide the best experience we can for the ticket price and we are continually seeking to find new ways to improve the visitor experience from the funds we receive.

The Dinosaur Museum is part of World Heritage Ltd.

Today the museum has almost taken on a life of its own. Many people who have fond memories of visiting when they were young now return with their own children, to let them enjoy the Museum's unique appeal.


Nominated for:

  • The European Museum of the Year Award 1985.

Honours include:

  • One of Britain's Top Ten Hands On Attractions" by both The Daily Telegraph and Bella Magazine in 1992;
  • "Dorset's Family Attraction of the Year" in The Good Guide to Britain in 1997;
  • "One of the Ten Best Bank Holiday outings for Children in the South West" in the Independent in 2001;
  • "One of the Ten Best Child Friendly Museums" in the Daily Telegraph in 2006.