Mystery at the Courthouse | Agatha Christie comes to Shire Hall
An award-winning museum in the heart of Dorset, Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum brings over 200 years of justice and injustice to life. An interactive ‘living’ museum, it uses real-life stories and iPad guides to let visitors walk in the footsteps of those whose lives were changed or even ended by their experiences there.
Shire Hall’s impressive courtroom is best known as the setting for the trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who were sentenced to transportation to Australia in 1824. The backlash that followed their harsh punishment, which saw thousands marching through the streets of London calling for justice, would lead to the formation of the modern-day Trade Union movement.
Shire Hall opened to the public in May 2018, following extensive restoration work to the building, which dates back to the 18th Century. The museum’s aim is to help everyone explore the history of law and order, as well as past and present efforts to achieve justice for all people.
Since April (until 2nd September 2022), the museum has been host to an incredible exhibition on one of the country’s favourite crime writers, Agatha Christie. From Hercule Poirot to Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s characters and stories have captivated readers and audiences for over 100 years. This exhibition gives visitors further insight into Christie’s writing and personal life, from the inspiration behind her work to the infamous story of her disappearance. Abbie King, Director of Shire Hall Museum, said: “Everyone at Shire Hall Museum has been excited to Agatha Christie comes to Shire Hall host this incredible Agatha Christie exhibition.
Along with creating some of the country’s most memorable works of literature, Agatha Christie lived an interesting life. This exhibition takes a closer look at both the mysteries she wrote and those relating to her own life. This is a must see for any Agatha Christie fan!” Drawn from a private collection, the exhibition features books, objects, artwork and other items relating to the life and works of Agatha Christie. Entry to Shire Hall Museum’s Agatha Christie event is included with Shire Hall Museum tickets. Inspired by the exhibition, Shire Hall has also hosted a series of Agatha Christie themed events. In May and July, the museum hosted ‘Drinks in the Clink: Cocktails and Crime’, a unique evening of Agatha Christie inspired cocktails from DarkBear, and in July, Shire Hall hosted an unforgettable Murder Mystery evening, which included a complimentary cocktail and two course meal. For more information about the Agatha Christie exhibition and the museum’s upcoming events, head to the Shire Hall website: shirehalldorset.org As a registered charity, Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum is increasingly reliant on the support of individuals, charitable trusts and companies.
The income generated from ticket sales, the museum café and shop, private hire, commercial activity and grants from public funding sources help Shire Hall greatly and is invaluable in supporting the museum’s on-going mission.