Museums

due TO THE COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS, THE MUSEUM IS CLOSED ON MONDAYS AND FRIDAYS AND access to the library, archive room and signal box is not available at present

The Swanage Railway Museum is based at Corfe Castle Station.  It collects and cares for objects, pictures and documents relating to the railway and assists in the fulfilment of the aims of the Swanage Railway Trust:

  • To preserve and restore, for the public benefit, items of historical, architectural, engineering or scientific value in connection with railways, and:
  • To advance the education of the public in the history and development of railway transportation.

Our collections focus on railways in the south of England with a particular interest in the Swanage branch line.

SIGNAL BOX

Visit the 1950s signal box sited on the station platform adjoining Station House, which was used until the line closed in 1972.  You can learn how the line is operated safely and try your hand at being a signalman and pull the signal levers.

All parts of the museum are free to visit but we are always happy to receive your donations which go towards supporting and developing the museum, its collections and displays.

BEHIND THE SCENES

The museum has a work space in Corfe Castle Station House where volunteers work on organising, caring for and documenting the collections.  We also have an archive room where items, not on display, are kept in controlled conditions.  This room enables us to carry out the many behind the scenes jobs needed to run the museum.

Next to the museum rooms, the Station House is also home to the Montague-Jones library which contains a wide range of railway books available for research.  The Library catalogue is now accessible online at www.srlibrary.co.uk.  You need to make an appointment but please get in touch if you would like to consult our collection.

If you are interested in researching our collections, or donating objects to the collection, please email us at: [email protected]

VISITING

VISITING

Items in the museum collection are on display in the Goods Shed, which is open on days that trains are running from 10am – 4.30pm.  The displays include photographs, equipment and signage as well as personal effects of people who worked on the railways in the southern region.  It tells the story of the branch line from 1885 to its closure in 1972 and the important role the railways played in the first and second world wars.

Access into the exhibition coach and cinema is from the rear of the Goods Shed which has recently undergone a complete refurbishment.  The film tells the story of the branch line from the beginning in 1885 to the present day and the impact it had on the area, changing it forever.  The exhibition is dedicated to the volunteers who have achieved their dream of rebuilding the branch line against all the odds after it closed in 1972.  It tells the remarkable story of their hard work and determination as well as celebrating the people who played a part.

The book wagon, sited next to the Museum and Exhibition Coach, sells a wide range of railway second-hand books.  All the books have been donated with proceeds supporting the museum.  The wagon is open during events or by request.

Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum

Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum is closed until further notice. This is in response to Government instructions on coronavirus/ COVID-19. We will regularly review this. Please check here for updates.

The Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum is dedicated to the history of Purbeck Ball Clay mining, the industrial heritage of Purbeck and the Purbeck narrow gauge railways.

Opening times: Closed

Entry is FREE. Please donate at least £1 each and help us to care for, explore and celebrate your heritage. Please Gift Aid your donation.

Find us at Purbeck Park, near Corfe Castle, Dorset. Our postcode is BH20 5DW.

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