Poole Museum is housed in four closely connected but very different buildings.
You enter through the new atrium building, designed by architects Horden Cherry Lee, and completed in 2007. The site was once occupied by Poole’s first public library, founded in 1830.
You then walk through into Oakley’s Mill, a Victorian grain warehouse and flour mill with floors supported by heavy beams and posts. The medieval Ship Inn used to occupy this site and, from that building, we have a remarkable set of carved timbers – two of which are displayed on the First Floor. This building houses the museum displays and the offices of the Borough of Poole Museum Service and Arts Development Unit.
The third building is the Town Cellars. Originally built about 1300, it has impressive stone walls and a magnificent timber roof. Built as a medieval warehouse it is now the Local History Centre.
Across Salisbury Street is the fourth building, Scaplen’s Court, Poole’s most complete medieval domestic building. This is now principally dedicated to the Museum education service. The herb and physic garden is open throughout the summer and Scaplen’s Court can be visited during August.
Together these buildings form Poole Museum, which tells the story of the area that is now the Borough of Poole. It is a fascinating story that will take you through thousands of years, across oceans and into the lives of many Poole people.