Raising Voices Open Day


10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Shire Hall Museum
High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1UY

Event Type

On Tuesday 8th March, from 10am – 5pm, visitors will be able to explore one of Dorchester’s most historic buildings for free, as well as be one of the first people to see Shire Hall’s new series.

Raising Voices: Women and the Justice System will focus on the stories of Elizabeth Martha Brown, Charlotte Bryant and Violet Van Der Elst. All three women were involved with trials at Shire Hall when it was the county’s Courthouse.

Elizabeth Martha Brown was the last woman to be publicly executed in Dorset in 1856, Charlotte Bryant was the last woman to be sentenced to death in Dorset in 1936 and Violet Van Der Elst was a social activist and campaigner who fought for the abolition of capital punishment.

New interpretation throughout the Museum will explore women’s experiences and roles within the criminal justice system.  Visitors will also have the opportunity to reflect on the factors that influenced what happened to them and if similar influences still exist today.

Free of charge

Organiser Shire Hall Museum – information:


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