World Heritage Museums

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About Us

Established in 1984 The Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester was the first museum in Britain solely devoted to the fascinating world of Dinosaurs.

History / Background

Passionate about Dinosaurs, museologists Michael and Jackie Ridley wanted to create a place where adults and children alike could discover and explore the great history of Dorset’s Jurassic coast. Noted for presenting information in interesting and exciting ways lead them to pioneer many new museum techniques. The Dinosaur Museum was the first museum to use computers in interactive displays. The Museum also invented the famous "Feely Box", a technique, that is now used by in all types of museums worldwide. The Museum’s early pioneering work has been an inspiration to a number of museum’s in other countries who wanted to adapt the techniques and ideas for their own institutions.

The Dinosaur Museum has featured on many children's television programmes including Blue Peter, The Really Wild Show, Tickabilla, Words & Pictures, and the Tweenies.


As an independent museum we are supported solely on funds generated from ticket sales and gift shop sales. We aim to provide the best possible experience we can and are continually seeking to find new ways to add to and improve the visitor experience from the funds the Museum generates.

The Dinosaur Museum is part of World Heritage Ltd.

Today the Museum has almost taken on a life of its own. Many people who have fond memories of visiting when they were young now return with their own children, to let them enjoy the Museum's unique appeal.


  • Nominated for : The European Museum of the Year Award 1985.
  • One of Britain's Top Ten Hands On Attractions" by both The Daily Telegraph and Bella Magazine in 1992;
  • "Dorset's Family Attraction of the Year" in The Good Guide to Britain in 1997;
  • "One of the Ten Best Bank Holiday outings for Children in the South West" in the Independent in 2001;
  • "One of the Ten Best Child Friendly Museums" in the Daily Telegraph in 2006.