The Museum also has a large collection of items which show what life was like in Dorset's more recent past. Farming plays an important part in Dorset's history, and in the Rural Dorset gallery you can see a wide range of agricultural machinery and tools, including pitch forks, hay rakes and scythes.
At a time when most jobs on the farm had to be done by hand, a wide range of ingenious tools were devised to cope with specific tasks. Cider making was also popular, and the Museum displays a cider press, which would have been used to squeeze the juice from the apples.
This fine example of a Dorset farm wagon was originally used at the mill in Yetminster. It was owned by a farmer who declared himself ‘addicted to wagons’ and at his funeral this wagon was used to take his body to the church.
The main use of such wagons was to transport hay, and at each end of the wagon wooden frames could be folded out to provide extra support for large loads.