£25 – £85

Shire Hall Courthouse ghost hunt - Dorchester

Actions and Detail Panel

£25 – £85

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum

High West Street

Dorchester

DT1 1UY

United Kingdom

View Map

Event description
Shire Hall Courthouse ghost hunt - Dorchester

About this Event

£25pp

8pm-2am

Dorchester Shire Hall managed local law and order in it’s full capacity until 1955, when the new county hall and crown court was opened giving more modern and usable settings.

One of the most famous trials held at the hall was that of the ‘Tolpuddle Martyrs’ in 1834. The six Dorset agricultural labourers were arrested for swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers, which they had formed to bargain for better wages. On 18 March 1834, the Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to penal transportation to Australia. The sentence sparked public outrage, resulting in a petition of 800,000 signatures demanding their release and a 100,000-strong demonstration in London. All were pardoned, on condition of good conduct, in March 1836, with the support of Lord John Russell, who had recently become Home Secretary. A plaque on the front of Shire Hall commemorates the centenary of the commemorating the trial.

Thomas Hardy, the novelist and poet, served as a magistrate at Shire Hall. He had been made Justice of the Peace for the Borough of Dorchester from 1884, sitting in court on almost forty occasions from then to 1919. Hardy’s experience as a magistrate provided inspiration for his writing. Including his famous novel “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” inspired by the story of Dorchester’s last ever execution on Saturday 9th August 1856 at Dorchester Prison; where Elizabeth Martha Brown was hung until dead by William Calcraft, Who was Britain’s principal executioner from 1829 -1874, and the longest serving hangman of all.

Ghosts

Many come to Dorchester to follow the story of “Hanging” Judge Jeffreys, and the Bloody Assizes. The obvious place to start following his history is at his old lodgings at 6 High West Street.

A little along High West Street you will find Dorcherster Shire Hall, home of the courthouse and a jail. The Shire Hall is said to be haunted by Jeffreys’ ghost, and in 2010 paranormal investigators captured a photograph that they claimed showed the ghostly figure of the Judge stalking the corridors of the museum.

Over the years there have been 100’s of cases where prisoners have sat below the streets in cells, awaiting their judgement and fate, with stories of many taking their own lives in their cells to escape an even crueller end.

During recent renovations, workmen have given reports of tools being found in places in obscure places, as if being moved around and placed overnight by unseen hands. Strange sounds have been heard including wall scrapes and footsteps.

Local fossil collector Mary Anning is said to of been seen here, where a photograph was taken of a woman with a cape going round her shoulders, although we cannot find documentation Mary had any ties to the Shire Hall it is interesting to hear and should be looked into on an investigation here.

You will take part in experiments such as:

Table Tipping

Glass Divination

Human Pendulum

EVP

plus more.

Please bring with you a face mask, a torch, warm clothes, sensible footwear and any refreshments you will require, however tea, coffee and hot chocolate will be provided.

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum

High West Street

Dorchester

DT1 1UY

United Kingdom

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved