The Dorman Museum has an extensive collection of items from the fantastic to the fabulous, from natural history and geology to social history and Victorian arts and craft. The museum is interesting and fun for all ages and abilities with 8 galleries and 3 exhibition spaces meaning there's something for everyone, including plenty of hands-on activities, objects and children's trails.
Children can experience life in a bomb shelter, investigate the history of Middlesbrough, explore the natural world or come face to face with ancient civilisations.
The Nelson Room, featuring the Thomas Hudson Nelson collection of birds and eggs, showcases over 100 mounted bird specimens in the gallery, and unchanged since the exhibit was first installed in the early 1900s.
Dorman Museum is proud to have the largest collection of Christopher Dresser pieces in the world, in their brand new Dresser Gallery. A forward-thinking pioneer, Dresser embraced early industrialisation and the benefits it could provide to manufacturing. While his contemporaries, including William Morris, rejected both mass production and modernity, Dresser saw the opportunity to use new methods of production to create items which were affordable and practical but still attractive. Not limiting his talents to designing just one type of product, Dresser produced designs for everything from teapots to chairs, a huge variety of which are on display in the museum's gallery, and many of which look surprisingly up-to-date even today.
During his time in Middlesbrough, Dresser also established the Linthorpe Pottery.
Linthorpe Art Pottery
The Linthorpe Pottery was established in 1879 and sat within a square formed by Burlam Road, Roman Road, Oxford Road and Thornfield Road, in Linthorpe. At a time when many were out of work, it was a strong source of employment in the area, and took on both men and women, who worked in separate rooms. The pottery produced thousands of items, from mantelpiece clocks to vases, often in a beautiful brightly coloured style. It was the first pottery in the country to use gas-fired kilns which gave a freedom to experiment with glazes, meaning the colours of the pottery produced were unique to Linthorpe. In 1884/5 Linthorpe Art Pottery won medals at two international exhibitions, as well as a gold medal and Diploma of Merit at an exhibition at Alexandra Palace, London, where Princess Alexandra purchased a turquoise Linthorpe Pottery vase, which vastly increased the popularity of the wares.
Despite this popularity, the Linthorpe Pottery only operated for approximately ten years. Today the pieces are highly collectible, and Dorman Museum is proud to have amassed an impressive collection. It contains around 1,060 items, representing around 465 of the 2,350 different designs thought to have been produced during the pottery’s ten year history.
Regular holiday events mean the Dorman Museum is a great day out all year round, and a changing exhibition programme will encourage you to visit again and again.
Fully accessible and FREE.
Tuesday-Sunday - 9.30am-5pm (Last entry 4.45 pm)
Call 01642 813781 to check any additional closed dates.