Local History Centre

If you are researching family or local history, this is the place to come.

Entry to the Local History Centre is free and volunteers or staff are usually available to assist you in your research.

Entry is free.

A small charge is made for use of the computers, film readers and photocopying to support the service.

We welcome donations to support the work of the Museum Trust, a registered charity.

Access to wi-fi is free.

Opening times

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm

Open throughout the year, apart from our Christmas break between Saturday 22 December, re-opening on Tuesday 5 February 2019.

Free admission.

It is advisable to email or phone before your visit if you would like to book a computer.

Book a computer or microfilm

We subscribe to the Ancestry website

We can research for you

Book an appointment with one of our lovely local historians 

What you can find at the Local History Centre

  • A library with local books such as John Hutchins’ History and Antiquities of Dorset and John Pouncy’s Dorsetshire (1857)
  • Booklets about Bridport’s history
  • A photographic archive, many of which are available to view on our Flickr site.
  • Family history records
  • General Register Office indices for births and marriages 1890-1945 on microfiche
  • Parish registers on microfilm and transcriptions
  • International Genealogical Index covering much of the world
  • Monumental Inscriptions for local churchyards
  • Bridport Cemetery records
  • National Burial Index
  • Access to historical censuses
  • Donated family histories and research

Local History Resources

Maps and plans

  • Ordnance Survey Maps
  • Tithe Maps with apportionments
  • Town Plans

Trade Directories

  • Kelly’s, Pigot’s, Hunt’s covering 1792 to 1939

Transcripts of Nominal rolls

  • Tudor Muster Rolls (1539, 1542, 1569)
  • Protestation returns (1641-2)
  • Hearth Tax (1662-4)
  • Register of Dorset Yeomanry and Volunteers (1794-98)


  • Histories of Dorset such as Hutchins, Coker and Pouncey
  • Books on the local area and related subjects
  • Local history and genealogy research


  • ‘Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society’ (1892-2007)
  • ‘The Greenwood Tree’, of the Somerset and Doset Family History Society
  • Bridport History Society Journal
  • Bridport Civic Society

Other material

  • Collections of articles, notes etc on local subjects


  • Copies of the Museum’s large collection are available to view and order (depending on copyright)

Areas we cover

Allington, Askerswell, Beaminster, Bettiscombe, Bothenhampton, Bradpole, Bridport, Burton Bradstock, Charmouth, Chideock, Chilcombe, Little Bredy, Litton Cheney, Loders, Long Bredy, Marshwood, Monkton Wyld, Netherbury, North Poorton, Pilsdon, Powerstock, Puncknowle, Salway Ash, Shipton Gorge, Stanton St Gabriel, Stoke Abbot, Swyre, Symondsbury, Thorncombe, Walditch, Wootton Fitzpaine.

Local History Centre, The Coach House, Gundry Lane, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3RJ

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Local History Centre