The Etches Collection, Museum of Jurassic Marine Life
Kimmeridge, Wareham BH20 5PE, UK
| +44 1929 270000
Sun - Sat 10am - 5pm
Discover Fossils at the Etches CollectionThere's a new museum in Dorset that is dedicated to fossils found in and around Kimmeridge on the world famous Jurassic Coast. What is even more remarkable is the collection is down to one man collecting specimens and bones from the local beach.
Steve Etches is a plumber by trade but spent the last 30 years collecting fossils in and around Kimmeridge. For years they crowded out his home- but today visitors can come and see them in a new interactive museum here in Dorset.
The Etches Collection has a captivating display of bones, fossils and clear information about the specimens. Walk into the gallery and the design makes you feel as though you are underwater with huge creatures swimming overhead thanks to some computerized magic. Instantly you are transported back thousands of years.
This is a very interactive museum. There's a school classroom fitted with a child friendly microscope. They hope kids will find a fossil or two on the beach and bring them in to be viewed. Visitors can see fossil specimens being prepared and cleaned through an open plan glass fronted workroom adjacent to the gallery. Sometimes the boss himself is around and gives tours round the gallery. Steve Etches has a way of captivating and inspiring kids as he explains away the jawbones of dinosaurs. Check out tour times when you arrive- the reception staff will let you know what's happening. If the tides are right there are tours of the local coastline to hunt a fossil or two. These cost extra and can be booked online in advance.
Dorset's Jurassic Coast is very special as a World Heritage Site. This new museum is set to be one of the most popular attractions in the area.