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Sherborne Museum has opened out its winter talks to the general public and warmly invites you to come along. We think the levels of expertise, knowledge and interest of our speakers are well worth £5 each, especially as all talks have tea and cake included. However, if you decide to become a member of the museum, with the exception of the two bookending memorial lectures at the Catholic Church Hall at which members also pay, you can experience these talks absolutely free! Thus saving £25 and still having tea and cake!

All lectures start at 2.30pm. Doors open at 2.00pm

Admission for the Gerald Pitman Lecture and the Jim Gibb Lecture at the Catholic Church Hall: £5 with students at £2 (members and public)

Admission for the main winter talks programme at the Raleigh Hall: £5 non-members, members free.


Thursday 8th March at the Raleigh Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne, 2.30pm
Blandford Forum Museum

We always invite a speaker from another heritage attraction and this year we warmly welcome Sylvia Andrews, Director of Blandford Town Museum, which has a wide range of displays on the history of the town, including a depiction of the great fire of 1731. It is fortunate in attracting a very able team of volunteers with a wide range of research interests. Also Education Co-ordinator, Sylvia notes that ‘one of the most fulfilling groups to work with are young enthusiastic volunteers...they bring buckets of skills that are not often available in small museums. But keeping them engaged is often tricky.’ This talk will discuss some of the difficulties encountered at Blandford and some of the solutions to solving these problems.


Saturday 10th March, The Catholic Church Hall, Westbury, Sherborne, 2.30pm.
Henry VIII

On 18th March 1539, the parish register records ‘Expulsio Monachorum de Shurborne’ and the abbey estates passed to the King to be disposed of, ‘privatised.’ It is easy to forget that up to this date the church fulfilled a number of social functions, not least those of hospitality, education and care of the poor.

The next generation witnessed the building of the New Inn, the founding of a Grammar School and an Almonry set up in what is now Sherborne Museum.

In his lecture Prof. George Bernard, Professor of Early Modern History at Southampton University, will suggest that it was not, however, solely for financial reasons that Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell dissolved the monasteries and that there were other vitally important factors involved.

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