Festival of Archaeology: Roman Town House Tours Sunday 28th July 2013

Dorchester Roman Town House

Dorchester Roman Town House

As part of the current Festival of British Archaeology, Dorset County Museum is offering the opportunity to visit the Roman Town House in Dorchester.

The Town House, behind County Hall in Dorchester, is not normally open to the public.  This is a fantastic opportunity to get right inside and have a fully guided tour of the building and see the beautiful mosaic floors at close range.

Tours cost just £6.50 and the ticket also includes entry to the Museum on the day. Tickets are available from the Museum on 01305 756827 or from the Museum Shop on shop@dorsetcountymuseum.org.  Accompanied children are free of charge.

The tours commence at the Town House at 10.30am, 12 noon, 1.30pm and 3.30pm on Sunday 28th July only. As numbers are limited please book early to ensure a place.

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Festival of Archaeology at the Dorset County Museum

All Saint's Church, Dorchester

Dorset County Museum’s Archaeology Store – All Saint’s Church, High East Street, Dorchester

On the 22nd July 2013, as part of the CBA Festival of British Archaeology, a rare opportunity to tour the Dorset County Museum’s archaeology store in All Saint’s Church, High East Street, Dorchester. Tours will commence from the Museum at: 10.30am, 12 noon, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. The Ticket Price of 36.50 includes admission to the museum

If you have any finds from metal detecting, field walking or casual finds. from gardening etc. This includes metal objects such as coins, buckles, brooches and tools, as well as pottery, tile and worked stone and want to know more about them, show them to Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevarthen, Finds Liaison Officer for Somerset and Dorset Portable Antiquities Scheme, who is holding a finds identification ‘surgery’ at the museum. We will identify your finds and then, depending on their date and type, decide if they need to be recorded in more detail.

Dorchester Roman Town House

Dorchester Roman Town House

On the 28th July 2013 there will be a rare opportunity to go inside Dorchester’s Roman Town House and see the beautiful mosaic floors at close range. Tours will commence from the Town House at: 11.00am, 12.00pm, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. £6.50 for adults, accompanied children are free (this ticket also entitles you to entry to the Museum). As numbers are limited, please book your ticket through the Museum shop.

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

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Museum Volunteer awarded British Empire Medal

Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, Mrs Valerie Pitt-Rivers with Mrs Gwen Yarker.

Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, Mrs Valerie Pitt-Rivers with Mrs Gwen Yarker © DCM

On Tuesday 21 May 2013, Mrs Gwen Yarker, Dorset County Museum Honorary Curator was presented with a British Empire Medal by the Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, Mrs Valerie Pitt-Rivers.

Gwen received her award in the 2013 New Year Honours List as a result of her voluntary services to Museums. Many friends, staff

and other volunteers came to the presentation to show their support and thank Gwen for her unique contribution to the work of the Museum over two decades.

For over twenty years Gwen Yarker has served as the Honorary Curator of Fine Art at Dorset County Museum and as a trustee of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society. She has been instrumental in fundraising to support the development of the Museum, in building links with other fine art organisations, in growing, training and leading a group of collections management volunteers, and in researching, documenting and displaying the history of the county’s artists and paintings.

In this regard Mrs Yarker’s work to raise £350,000 to acquire three portraits by George Romney detailing Thomas Rackett, one of Dorset’s earliest antiquarians and collector of one of the Museum’s foundation collections, is particularly noteworthy. So too is her singlehanded contribution to the research, coordination, writing, fundraising and management of the production of the Public Catalogue Foundation’s volume on the oil paintings of Dorset.

– Dorset County Museum Exhibition of 2011: Georgian Faces – Portrait of a County

However, perhaps Mrs Yarker’s finest achievement to date was her curatorship of the exhibition Georgian Faces: Portrait of a County held at Dorset County Museum in 2011 and authorship of an accompanying catalogue. The result of over four years work, undertaken on a completely voluntary basis, this critically acclaimed exhibition which ran for four months in early 2011, contained over 70 portraits from both national and private collections, including many never seen in public previously. It resulted in significant long-term improvements to the security and facilities of the Museum, dramatically raised its profile and standing, and attracted a large audience – helping grow the museum’s income in otherwise difficult economic circumstances.

Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum has praised Mrs Yarker’s work at the Museum, “She is an invaluable and unique resource to the Museum – we would never have acquired the Romney portraits without her, and she continues to provide help, advice and support at the highest level.”  Whilst Mrs Yarker wished to keep the presentation of the award low-key, she is keen to use the event as an opportunity to publicise the Museum and the work of all the other volunteers who generously give so much of their time and expertise to the Museum’s ongoing work.

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