25 South Street
Office / Local History Centre
From Romans to Ropemaking - Bridport Museum tells the unique history of the town in this Tudor building. The story of Bridport's world famous rope and net making industries is told. Find out what it means to be 'Stabbed with a Bridport Dagger' and who the Poor Man's Friend was.
Temporary exhibitions feature the reserve collections.
Museum: April to October, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm
Local History Centre: Year round, Tuesday - Thursday, 10am - 1pm and 2 - 4pm
Local History Centre: Free
The history of the town is told through the collections of social history, archaeology, photograph, fine art, costume, agriculture, archive and rope and net.
Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Maritime, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War
Key artists and exhibits
- For 2004 special exhibitions include photographs of American troops on a local beach in 1944, costume & accessories from the collection and Bridport town criers
The Chideock Egg Lady: One Woman's Role in World War I
- 5 April — 1 November 2014 *on now
Bridport Museum's exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I takes its inspiration from a small archive collection known as the 'egg letters.'
The collection came from a local lady called Chrissie Squire. Chrissie found a way of making a unique contribution to the war effort. She became involved with the National Egg Collection. This was an initiative set up in the early days of the war under the patronage of Queen Alexandra to collect eggs and distribute them amongst wounded soldiers in France to provide additional and much needed sustenance.
The scheme continued throughout the war and an astonishing number (well in excess of 20 million) of eggs found their way into hospitals over the course of the four years. 64,000 passed through the collection centre in Bridport Town Hall and of these Chrissie certainly contributed hundreds, as we know from various receipts she saved any awards she was given. More importantly, she personalised her eggs, putting her name and address on to them, painting intricate little pictures and sometimes adding a poem or an encouraging word. In return she received many letters from soldiers thanking her, and giving her snippets of information about their lives.
These letters were saved and are currently held at the Local History Centre in Bridport.
We know that often there was a lottery or draw to determine which man in a hospital ward would be lucky enough to receive the decorated egg. And we know that some of the soldiers either kept the whole egg rather than destroying the paintings or managed in some way to blow the egg out and preserve the shell. We don’t know if any of these eggs are still in existence.
The letters are written by men of varying ranks and of several different nationalities including British, Australian and Canadian. Some come from hospitals in the UK and most from France. Together, they paint a fascinating and often heartbreaking picture of life as a soldier in the First World War. We learn of terrible injuries and illnesses borne with extraordinary courage and dignity. We read about the horror of the battleground, the grim and unrelenting hardship and tedium of life in the trenches, the comradeship of fellow soldiers, the kindness of nurses. Grimness pervades all the letters, despite obvious attempts to hide the worst from the folks back home.
- Any age