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The Museum

Purbeck Limestone has been used from Roman times to the present day for the walls, roofs and floors of many buildings, from humble homes to great cathedrals and its history is displayed in an old stone
coach-house in the centre of the stone-built village of Langton Matravers in the heart of Purbeck Stone country.                                                                                                                                                        
The Museum is run by the Langton Matravers Local History and Preservation Society and is staffed by volunteers,  providing a complete picture of the ways in which the local stone was quarried and used.
Included is a  much praised audio-visual introduction to the history of the local stone industry which lasts for twenty minutes and contains an explanation of the unique geology of Purbeck with fascinating examples of the various beds of stone.

The topmost layer, known as Purbeck Marble, has been quarried since Roman times and may be seen in many English cathedrals and in most of the churches of Purbeck.The first Exhibition of this local history material was during the 1951 Festival of Britain. In January 1972 the Langton Matravers Local History and Preservation Society was founded, and in August of the same year a very popular weekend Exhibition displayed what had already been collected. In the months following a great many more items were presented.

By January 1974 the collection numbered almost six thousand items, so a Parish Museum was opened in a small room of 90 square feet ground area. Here ten aspects of local history were shown in rotation: Farming and Dairying; Quarrying and Stonemasonry;  Schools and Education; Churches, Chapels and the mediaeval Priory; Workshops (Blacksmith, Carpenter, Cordwainer and Baker); Shops and Cottage Industries; Events of Importance; Wartime Commemoratives; Past Parishioners and their Possessions;
and Vernacular and other local Architecture. Documentation all items has now been completed; we have a considerable number of local genealogical charts; many relevant Society publications including Parish Registers, details of Monuments in the Churchyard and Cemetery (Anglican and Non Conformist); and some Census transcriptions.

Other publicatns cover the history of local villages, the history of Purbeck Stone quarrying, and Langtioon Matravers in World War II.

                       The Museum is open from 1st. April until 30th. September
            Monday to Saturday (not Sunday) from 10am to 12noon and 2pm to 4pm
                                   Some parking is usually available at the museum