Our galleries

As a town, Bridport wears almost as many hats as its famous Hat Festival! A market town, an artistic hub, a centre for events, a holiday destination and a place of industry. Discover the diversity of Bridport in our galleries.

Spinning the stories of rope and net

This is our most significant collection, and reflects the importance of the rope and net making industries in the area for the last 800 years.

Why did Bridport become an internationally-important centre for rope and net making? What was life like in its famous rope walks? And what’s Bridport’s sporting claim to fame?

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Bridport rocks!

Meet huge marine reptiles, amazing ammonites, elegant brittle stars, and bullet-like belemnites.

Discover the rocks where these fantastic fossils formed, and what they tell us about life around Bridport millions of years ago.

You can explore some of our star fossils on the Fossil Finder.

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Iron Age coins to Roman treasures

Delve into Bridport’s ancient past.

You’ll find Iron Age coins used by the Durotrige people, 2,000 years ago. And there’s Roman treasure, from armour and ancient tools, to beautiful jewellery and mystical amulets.

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Making a mint in Anglo-Saxon times

Transport yourself back to the Anglo-Saxon market town.

Anglo-Saxon Bridport had its own mint for making coins. Follow maps which trace the growth of Bridport to the thriving town of today.

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Beastly Bridport

Discover Bridport’s dark history of disease, death and decay.

Why was Bridport one of the dirtiest, smelliest towns in the country? And what was the deadly ‘Bridport dagger’?

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Bridport’s marvellous medicine man

Meet Dr Roberts, Bridport’s famous apothecary and philanthropist.

His medicines and cures sold worldwide, yet the ingredients in some of them might make your stomach churn today!

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Fish and ships!

Fishing might have caused a stink in the town, but it provided a livelihood for local people for hundreds of years.

Find out more about the fishing, shipbuilding and tourism industries of Bridport Harbour (now West Bay).

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Butchers, bakers and beer-makers

Take a gastronomic tour through Bridport’s history.

You might be surprised how old some of our business are. Palmers Brewery dates back 200 years – to the days when beer was safer to drink than water!

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See you soon

Come and enjoy our extensive collections and displays to learn more about how the history of the town has helped shape the great place we know today.