Join the Friends

Friends & VolunteersJMC_3712-1E[1]

To become a Friend of Shaftesbury Abbey or Volunteer please call in or contact us and we will be pleased to send you a form. Call 01747 852910 or email 

At Shaftesbury Abbey we are passionate about our heritage and our pivotal place in Shaftesbury’s history.  The Abbey is part of Shaftesbury’s story and adds to its attraction as a place to live and to visit.  Shaftesbury Abbey Museum is committed to preserving the ancient remains of the Abbey, and promotes learning by people of all ages.  The museum also acts as an important local venue for arts and education within the community.

Friends membership

The museum is fortunate to have a thriving Friends membership.  As a small charity that receives little grant funding, support from the Friends of Shaftesbury Abbey is vital to the museum’s future.

As well as free entry to the site, Friends enjoy the opportunity to meet like-minded members at private views and a summer garden party.  They also receive regular newsletters about the Abbey’s upcoming events, plus background articles of historical and archaeological interest.

Becoming a Friend of Shaftesbury Abbey is open to everyone and membership runs from January to the end of December.  There are three categories of membership: Life, Individual, Joint (two people in the same household).

£75 Life membership  £15 Individual membership  £20 Joint membership for a couple at the same address

Benefits of membership

Free entry to the site during opening hours                               Discounted tickets for events

Invitations to private views and project launches                     Friends’ Summer Garden Party

Free use of the Abbey’s reference library                                    Tri-annual newsletter

The right to elect members to the Board of Trustees               Stand for office yourself (if over 18)


Volunteer at Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Garden – join our team and help make a activity day

The Abbey is a self-supporting charity run by volunteers, which relies on the income generated by admission fees and events, and profits from the shop, as well as the support of our Friends.  The museum would not survive without our valued team of volunteers who give their time to help preserve the Abbey site and keep it open for visitors.

Some use skills that they already have, while others learn new ones, and everyone has the opportunity to meet new friends with similar interests, and make a real contribution to Shaftesbury’s foremost heritage site.

Museum stewards – play an important role managing the reception desk. The day is divided into three 2½ hour sessions, and tasks include meeting and greeting visitors, selling admission tickets, taking money from shop sales, recording any comments or feedback, and generally ensuring that visitors enjoy their experience.

Gardening volunteers maintain the peaceful walled garden throughout the year. Tasks include pruning roses and shrubs, maintenance of paths and garden furniture, and cultivating the extensive Anglo-Saxon herb collection.

Conservation – the museum has over 10,000 objects in its collection, with only a small number on display. The collection includes medieval floor tiles, pottery, carved stonework, roof tiles and stained glass, all of which need to be identified and recorded on a standard museums management system.

Education and family activities – help the team with a programme of workshops and other activities for both schoolchildren and families, so that they gain maximum benefit from their visit. This programme is managed jointly with Gold Hill Museum and is lead by a professional education officer.

Events – the museum derives much-needed additional income from a series of events held in the grounds each season, such as Gold Hill Fair, open-air theatre and musical performances.  Volunteers are always needed to help steward these events, and serve refreshments.

To become a Friend or Volunteer please call in or contact us and we will be pleased to send you a form. Call 01747 852910 or email