Swanage Museum

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A fascinating insight into the history and heritage of this unique town and its residents: the Museum specialises in local and family history.

Our permanent interpretive panels tell the story of Swanage from dinosaurs to the Second World War.

The quarrying of Purbeck stone and the local stone trade are included in the displays. Vast quantities of Purbeck stone were shipped to London to pave the streets after the Great Fire of London in 1666. This trade by sea carried on until the end of the 19th century.

There are also panels on the two ‘founding fathers’ of Swanage, John Mowlem and George Burt. Mowlem was a poor quarry boy who went to London and made his fortune. He founded the international construction firm Mowlem which bore his name until taken over by Carillion in 2006. George Burt carried on running the firm after Mowlem retired to Swanage in 1845. They were both influential in the development of Swanage and also brought many old London relics to Swanage which can still be seen today.

Venue Type:

Museum, Archive

Opening hours

Easter - October
Daily 10.00 - 17.00

Closed: Lunch 13.00 - 14.00

Admission charges

Free Entry

Additional info

Access to the Research Room is strictly by appointment only, please email or phone for an appointment.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Fine Art, Maritime, Medicine, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History

Swanage Museum
The Square
BH19 2LJ







01929 475836

Heritage Centre

01929 423174

Research Room/Answer Phone


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.