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

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01722 332151

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Salisbury & 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.
Arch of Germanicus in Saintes

Mediolanum: Roman Saintes

  • 13 July 2013 — 26 April 2014 *on now

To strengthen ties with our twin town of Saintes, we have teamed up with the Musée Archéologique, to bring an exhibition of Roman archaeology to Salisbury. In return Salisbury Museum has sent some of its extensive Stonehenge collection to Saintes.

Saintes is on the bank of the Charente River – about 100kms north of Bordeaux. Like Salisbury it has an exceptional history – in Saintes dating back to the Gallo-Roman period. The city is full of well preserved Roman remains including an amphitheatre, a monumental arch, thermal baths, an aqueduct and ramparts.

The Salisbury exhibition celebrates the wealth of Roman archaeology in Saintes. Displays include bronze fittings from a chariot, a selection of pottery and prints and paintings of the town’s Roman monuments. The Musée Archéologique has also provided an impressive group of photographs of the monuments, which show how amazingly well preserved they are when compared to similar sites in Britain.

In Saintes the exhibition focuses on the prehistoric finds from the Stonehenge landscape. Objects include stone mauls used to build Stonehenge and an antler pick used to dig the ditches of the henge at Durrington Walls. The museum has also lent an extensive collection of 19th and 20th century paintings and prints of the monument. The exhibition at Saintes runs until May 2014.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Normal admission charges apply.

Paddling Brush by Sue Johnson, 2011, gouache, watercolour and pencil on paper

Pitt Rivers: Collecting Patterns

  • 1 February — 10 May 2014 *on now

Sue Johnson’s paintings tease the mind and the eye, drawing us towards new ways of seeing. Collecting Patterns presents a modern cabinet of curiosities showcasing how American artist Sue Johnson has engaged with and been inspired by the nineteenth century collector General Pitt-Rivers. For the first time, this exhibition draws together a comprehensive selection of the two series of work that Sue created in response to the illustrations in Pitt -Rivers’ ‘second collection’ manuscript catalogue. It then goes on to show new work that has been inspired by the Pitt-Rivers Wessex Collection at Salisbury Museum, in particular the local archaeology documented in his 4-volume publication Excavations in Cranborne Chase (1887-1896). Her new work illuminates both everyday and unusual objects in the Wessex Collection, drawing intriguing connections between the patterns of Pitt-Rivers’ collecting practices and those found on the surfaces of the objects themselves.

Sue is interested in exploring how the role of the artist has an impact on the way in which knowledge is distributed. Her work, with its origins in the genres of still life and vanitas, reflects on what she has discovered about the General as a collector, and how his collections have been documented.

From 2010-11 Sue was an associate researcher with the major three-year research project Rethinking Pitt-Rivers: Analysing the Activities of a Nineteenth Century Collector (2009-12). The Rethinking Pitt-Rivers Project, led by Jeremy Coote and Alison Petch of the Pitt Rivers Museum, has been funded by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust. Salisbury Museum is a project partner. Sue was supported by the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies for her year as Scholar-in-Residence in 2010-11 that allowed her the time in Oxford to work on the project.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Normal admission charges 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.

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

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