Poole Museum
Free Entry
Opening times:
From 1 November,
Mon - Sat, 10am - 4pm, Sun 12pm - 4pm

Closed: 24 December (pm only),
25 - 28 December and 1 January 2022.

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Poole History Centre

The History Centre is part of Poole Museum and is a rich resource centre about Poole's heritage. Here you can research local and family history as well as find additional information about the Museum displays.

Poole History Centre is housed in the Town Cellars, a wool warehouse dating from the 1300s, which is one of the most important surviving medieval port buildings in northern Europe.

Poole's Local History Centre has resources for all aspects of local history research. An extensive library is supported by microfilmed and digitised material.

Poole History Centre inside

Our resources include a comprehensive range of:

  • Maps and charts - Historic maps show the growth of the town from the sixteenth century up to the 1960s.

  • Newspapers - Over 200 years of newspaper coverage and press cuttings from the past 50 years.

  • Photographs - Thousands of photographs show how the area has changed over the past century.

  • Oral histories - Listen to personal accounts of the D-Day landings, stories of home life, ice-cream making and fishing.

  • Books - Subjects cover the local history of Poole and genealogical research. 

Explore historical aspects of Poole
  • People - Find out about community life and local people in biographies and resident directories.

  • Places in Poole - From Canford Magna to Poole Harbour, from Hamworthy to Branksome, Poole is a large Borough with a fascinating past.

  • Maritime history - Find out about Poole's trade links with Newfoundland. See records of ships sailing to and from the port and the cargo they carried.

  • Trade and Industry - Find out about the potteries, boat building, and many other local firms and industries.

  • Transport - Find out about the flying boats in Poole, local trams, and other transport by land, sea and air.

Local history and research services

Our helpful staff can advise on research methods and sources of additional information. We have a large photographic and historic archive of the town's building, events and its former inhabitants. It is advisable to book microfilm machines and computers.

Research services are available at a cost of £25 per hour (initial half hour is free of charge). We would be delighted to discuss your requirements. If you would like further information regarding a search plan and research quote please contact us.

Opening times and facilities

Poole History Centre has been responding to emails and telephone calls throughout the period of the coronavirus pandemic. We are now taking bookings for researchers wishing to access our resources. In order to maintain standards of safety we ask enquirers to leave a contact telephone number so that we may discuss how we can help. 

Please email localhistory@bcpcouncil.gov.uk and we will be in touch.

Bookings and enquiries

Poole History Centre will be open Wednesday to Saturday 10am-1pm, by appointment only.

Tel: 01202 128 888

Email: localhistory@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Further Information

Poole History Online is a website containing thousands of photographs and documents relating to the history of Poole. 

Poole History Online is a website containing thousands of photographs and documents relating to the history of Poole. 
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