Shire Hall Dorchester

Client: West Dorset District Council

Project: Dorchester Shire Hall, Tollpuddle Martyrs, Heritage Lottery funded

Collaborators: Hotrod Creations (Design & Graphics)

A site of international importance, Shire Hall contains the former Crown Court and cells, where Thomas Hardy sat as a magistrate and was scene of the infamous Tolpuddle Martyrs’ trial in 1834.


TGAC has developed the interpretation and content securing the HLF Round 2 funding, working with designers Hotrod Creations.


The immersive experience will take visitors through the Victorian and Edwardian cells, Courtroom and Grand Jury Room, meeting the people whose lives have passed through the building over time. These include the author Thomas Hardy and local heroes of the industrial revolution, the Tolpuddle Martyrs.


We’re also creating an interactive learning, training and temporary exhibition space for schools and local communities. The Justice Gallery will explore contemporary social justice themes, cater for events, performances, talks and functions, as well as featuring a café, shop and two flats to rent. 


Acclaim for Shire Hall Dorchester