Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
The King's House
65 The Close


Salisbury Museum

Museum Events

Current Exhibitions

Opening Hours

Our Galleries



Learning and Schools


01722 332151

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.
A boy visiting the Salisbury and South Wiltshire 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. Temporary exhibitions all through the year. Gift and coffee shops. Season tickets and membership benefits available.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Heritage site, Historic house or home

Opening hours

Mon-Sat 10.00-17.00
Sun 12.00-17.00 (June- September only)
Open bank holidays excl 25 December, 26 December, 1 January

Admission charges

Adult: £6.00; Child (5-16): £2.00 (under 5 free)
Family: £12.00 (2 adults/4 children)

Adult: £6.60 ; Child (5-16): £2.20 (under 5 free)
Family: £13.20 (2 adults/4 children)

*Donation Admissions can be tax effective if given under Gift Aid. They are 10% greater than the standard entry fee to enable Salisbury Museum to treat the whole amount paid as a donation and reclaim tax on the total. This amounts to an extra 25 per cent, potentially a very significant boost to museum funds.


  • 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.
Modesty with Downton Idiot Lace (2014). Detail, ink on paper

Teresa Whitfield: Drawing Museum Lace - An Unexpected Look

  • 13 September 2014 — 7 February 2015 *on now

Teresa Whitfield’s highly detailed lace drawings occupy an unusual space between reality and fiction. Characterised by a close resemblance to real fabric, the work references a time before the industrial revolution, when hand-made textiles were part of everyday domestic life for women.

Using white ink on paper, the painstaking drawing process she uses bears a striking resemblance to the process of using thread so that the drawings are more like a re-enactment of lace-making than simply a likeness of the object itself. By employing a low-tech labour-intensive process such as drawing, Whitfield’s work prompts discussion about the loss of craft skills in a digital age and provides audiences with a visual understanding of the impact of these changes.

Drawing Museum Lace is the outcome of two years research by Whitfield into the Downton Lace collection at The Salisbury Museum. The collection represents a once-thriving industry that has now all but vanished in the face of modern invention. The drawings will be displayed alongside the lace patterns that inspired them, and a video showing the intricate drawing process employed by Whitfield.

This exhibition is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.


Normal admission charges apply.

Shell Casing Trench Art

Salisbury & the Great War: Fighting on the Home Front

  • 4 October 2014 — 17 January 2015 *on now

Our autumn exhibition marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Engaging and informative for all the family, it delves into the stories of local people, places and events, charting the immediate and lasting impact of the Great War on Salisbury and the surrounding communities.

A range of activities and displays explore the county’s role in supporting the home front, as well as the battle fronts, including topics like: the daily grind, food, warfare and invention. Salisbury Plain was at the heart of preparing British and Empire troops for war with its many camps, training trenches and airfields and has a unique place in this country’s military history.

Using letters, photographs, medals and other personal mementos loaned by the public, as well as loans from Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre and objects from the Museum’s own collections, the exhibition will tell the story of Wiltshire’s war through Wiltshire people’s experiences.

The Salisbury Museum is delighted to announce that we secured £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War: then and now programme to support this centenary exhibition, and a family and schools programme. The HLF award also supports a partnership project between the Museum, Salisbury Cathedral and the Kiwi School at Bulford.

Costumes and handling boxes and a number of First world War themed family events have been funded through grant money from Salisbury City Council which generously supports the museum’s family and community outreach programmes.

We are grateful to Salisbury Cathedral, Fovant Badges Society, the Salisbury Arts Centre and the Rifles Museum for their support of this exhibition and related events.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Normal admission charges apply.

photograph of archaeological find

Deverill Finds at the Wessex Gallery of Archaeology

  • 18 November 2014 — 28 February 2015 *on now

This exhibition highlights some exceptional objects discovered by members of the public in the Salisbury area. A husband and wife team, detecting in the Deverill valley near Warminster, have discovered many of the treasured pieces.

The metal-detectorists found these pieces over a period of almost 30 years in the Deverill valley, and have been working closely with the Portable Antiquities Scheme for 11 years. The objects they have found so far span 2,000 years of Wessex history, stretching right back into the Iron Age. The Scheme was set up by the UK government in 1997 to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales.

Star pieces include a superbly modeled cast Roman bust of a Maenad, an early medieval hooked tag showing an eagle stretching its wings and talons, and a glorious gilded early medieval cloisonné brooch with a trifoliate leaf motif.


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Old Sarum: Reconstructing a lost Wiltshire Masterpiece

  • 9 December 2014 7:30-9pm

A talk by Allan Brodie, English Heritage. The Cathedral at Old Sarum ceased to a place of worship almost 800 years ago and the building today is simply a series of marks in the ground. But hundreds of fragments in the museum store and in English Heritage’s stone store suggest by at its height in the mid-12th century the cathedral was a magnificent tribute to its powerful patron Bishop Roger of Salisbury. Allan Brodie has used these and other buildings influenced by Old Sarum to illustrate its importance to the county and country’s artistic life.

Allan Brodie is an architectural historian for English Heritage who recently contributed to the fourth volume of The Salisbury Museum’s medieval catalogue series. Allan contributed an essay on the architectural history of Old Sarum and the incredible sculpture we have in the Museum’s medieval collection.

A lecture in the Salisbury Museum Archaeology Lectures (SMAL) series. Note this is the last in the series for the time being.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+


£2.00 members; £3.50 non-members. Payable on the door.


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.

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

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

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

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

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