The Salisbury Museum and Wessex Gallery of Archaeology

Salisbury Museum
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A friendly museum in a Grade 1 listed building. Winner of six major awards including a Museum of the Year award and the English Tourist Board England for Excellence. The archaeology collections are Designated Collections of national importance.

Home of the Stonehenge gallery, Warminster Jewel and famous Monkton Deverill gold torc. Displays of prehistory in Early Man; Romans and Saxons; the medieval history of Old Sarum and Salisbury (with the renowned Giant and Hob Nob); the Pitt Rivers (father of modern scientific archaeology) collection; ceramics and costume; a pre-NHS surgery; pictures throughout the Museum, including Turner watercolours.

Also home to the Wessex Gallery of Archaeology.

Temporary exhibitions all through the year. Gift and coffee shops. Season tickets and membership benefits available.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00
Sunday (June - September only) 12:00 to 17:00
Bank Holidays 10:00 to 17:00 (closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day)

Admission charges

Adults £8.00
Children £4.00
Families £20.00


  • Museums Association
  • English Heritage

The archaeology collections at this museum are Designated Collections of national importance.

The Designated collections contain rich and varied material from major prehistoric and later excavations, including finds and archaeology from nearby Stonehenge and other villages in south Wiltshire.

Collection details

World Cultures, Weapons and War, Social History, Personalities, Natural Sciences, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Stonehenge Interactive Gallery
  • Turner watercolours
  • Victorian costume
  • Wedgewood, ceramics & glass
  • Medieval history
  • Pitt Rivers gallery
  • Social history
  • Archaeology
  • Art
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

John Hinchcliffe: The Definitive Works of a Decorative Artist

  • 10 October 2015 — 16 January 2016

The first retrospective exhibition devoted to the life and work of weaver, painter and ceramicist John Hinchcliffe. Focusing on Hinchcliffe’s experimentalism, his love of colour, and his immense and varied output, this comprehensive exhibition reveals much about the character of the artist whilst contemplating every aspect of his work.

Guest curated by his wife and design partner, Wendy Barber, this exhibition shows how his versatility and dexterity of expression marks him as one of the foremost British craftsmen of the twentieth century.

It includes works never before exhibited including experimental constructions and paintings and will illustrate how Hinchcliffe's fascination with materials and surface decoration consistently challenged him to push the boundaries, leading him to work with woven and printed textiles, ceramics, paint and printmaking.

It also considers the importance of Salisbury and the surrounding area to Hinchcliffe’s work, including his groundbreaking exhibition of majolica ceramics at Salisbury Arts Centre in 1983. From 1991, except for a short spell in Normandy, he lived in Blandford Forum in Dorset, whilst his experimental studio in Sixpenny Handley, only 14 miles from Salisbury, was a commercial and artistic success, exporting ceramics throughout the world and rooting Hinchcliffe’s career in the local vicinity from 1986-91.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Normal museum admission costs apply


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Roman Pottery

1 hour session in the museum or classroom
Create a Roman pot from air drying clay using real pottery as inspiration and decorate it using Roamn designs and motifs.
£2.75 per pupil
Travel to and from school: 40p per mile

Br Grave, it's the Saxons!

2 hour session in the museum or classroom
Pupils will become history detectives and discover what a mysterious grave can tell us about Salisbury's Saxon past. The session is an opportunity to learn about the past from things left behind through handling real Saxon grave goods, plus lively activities and costumes to try.
£2.75 per pupil
Travel to and from school:40p per mile

Hilforts and Catapults

2 hour session in the museum
You class will be split into two opposing sides in order to understand how the Romans took defensive Iron Age hill forts, like Old Sarum, using ingenious catapults. An opportunity to investigate forces, construct catapults, and understand the local area's Iron Age and Roman past. Links with science.

Homes Through Time

2 hour session in the museum or classroom
Explore how objects in our homes have changed over time. Using real Victorian objects, children will discover how life in the past was different to our lives today.
£2.75 per pupil
Travel to and from school:40p per mile

Investigating Prehistoric Pots

1 to 1.5 hour session in the museum or classroom
Discover the secrets of these mysterious pots and have a go at designing, making abd decorating your own Bronze Age Beaker pot.
£2.75 per pupil
Travel to and from school:40p per mile

Medieval Salisbury

2 hour session in the museum or classroom
What life was like for people living in the new medieval city of Salisbury, what were the guilds and why does Salisbury have it's own Giant? All will be revealed as pupils handle real medieval artifacts and creat their own unique coat of arms.

Mini Museums

Whole or half day sessions in the museum
Your pupils will learn some of the tranferable skills needed to become museum curators. Creative thinking, team working, historicak enquirary, presesntation and literacy skills are all developed through lively object handling and creative activities. Your pupils will have a chance to discover what happens behind the scenes of a museum, investigate mysterious artefacts and work together to create their own mini-museums in an open-ended design challenge.
£3.50 per pupil

Roman Dig

2 hour session in the museum
Discover what it is like to be an Archaeologist and find out what we can learn from the things the Romans left behind. Handle real Roman artifacts and discover how they were made and what they were used for.
£2.75 per pupil

Saxon Art

1.5 to 2 hour session in the museum or classroom
Pupils will make their own stamps to decortate their Saxon inspired pots. THey will also make a colourful stings of beads and design a shiled and helmet for a Saxon warrior.
£3.50 per pupil
Travel to and from school:40p per mile

Slave Yourself

Musa, the wife of a notable Roman who has recently settles in Britain, needs to buy slaves for her new Villa and your pupils might be just what she's looking for. Object handling, role play and hands on activities. Make Roman Ink, Roman perfume, leather sandals and honeyed dates.

The Evacuees are coming!

2 hour session in the classroom
What was it like to share your school, home and village with evacuees during the war? Local school teacher and member of the Woman's Voluntary Service, Mrs V. Strictly, will take charge of the class as she prepares them for life on the Home Front and life with evacuees. Pupils will handly real 1940's objects, experience gas practice, school lessons 1940's style and role play.
£3.00 per pupil

The King's House

2 hour session in the museum
Meet Mrs Duncan, a Victorian SChool Teacher who lived in the KIng's HOuse a long time ago. Using old photographs and evidence left behind from the past, she will help youe class look for clues that tell us how the building has changed over time.
£2.75 per pupil

The Tudors are Coming to Town

2 hour session in the museum or classroom
It is 1535 and King Henry is visiting Salisbury with his new wife Anne Boleyn. As loyal citizens you must make sure that everything is in place to impress them. Through this hands on, costumed role play session children will discover the differences between rich and poor in Tudor Salisbury and experience what it was like to come face to face with the King.
£3.00 per pupil
Travel to and from school: 40p per mile

Toys Through Time

2 hour session in the museum or classroom
The museum has a collection of old toys but we need your help to sort them out. Which are the oldest? Who would have played with them? How would you describe them? YOu will also have a chance to play with replica toys and make your own old fashioned toys.
Cost:£2.75 per pupil
Travel to and from school:40p per mile

Tudor Life

1 hour session in the museum or classroom
Handle replica Tudor objects, games and costume and investigat what they tell is about life in Tudor times.

Unlocking the Stonehenge World Heritage Site

1 hour sessioin in the museum or classroom
A lively presentation designed to help pupils understand the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. They will explore the meanings behind the monuments un the landscape and how archaeology has helped us understand the mysteries surrounding them.
£2.00 per pupil
Travel to and from school:40p per mile

Victorian Childhood

1-2 hour sessions in the museum or classroom
What was it like for children in Victorian times? Handle real Victorian objects, clothing and toys and discover what these tell us about childhood in the past.
£2.75 per pupil
Travel to and from school:40p per mile

Victorian Life

1-2 hour session in the museum or classroom
An engaging handling session exploring Victorian life through objects, costume and photographs. What do they tell us about the differences between life today and life in the past? What do they tell us about life in the country and life in the town? Children will use creative thinking and enquiry skills to find the answers.
£2.75 per pupil
Travel to and from school:40p per mile

Who was the Amesbury Archer?

2 hour session in the museum
What can we learn about people from the things they left behind? Focusing on objects and evidence from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, pupils will bring to life the famous Amesbury Archer and use a range of skills to unlock what life was like for people living in Salisbury 4000 years ago. Pupils will handle real prehistoric objects and take part in costumed role play. Supports literacy.
£2.75 per pupil

The Salisbury Museum and Wessex Gallery of Archaeology
The King's House
65 The Close


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All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.