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The Fossil Museum at the Square and Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset

The museum recently found itself in Dorset whilst undertaking some exploratory work as to the possible location of the permanent Museum of British Folklore. The Square and Compass is a much loved local pub which started in 1776 and is a mecca for walkers and long standing patrons alike. Eschewing commercial beers it sells a delicious range of local ales and ciders as well as their rightly famous pies and pasties. The pub also hosts a lively calendar of live music, poetry and performance. In many ways the Square and Compass should serve as a model of what a local pub should be in the way that it serves the needs of its patrons and not those of the huge commercial PubCo's. That argument is best outlined in Paul Kingsnorth's excellent book, 'Real England: The Battle Against the Bland', which we would recommend anyone to get a copy of.

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To one side of the building is a quirky but informative museum room which houses the fossil collection of Raymond Newman and his son, Charlie Newman. A series of delightful hand written labels, give information about the various fossils and local finds as well as to the origins of a very alarming stuffed bat. Among our favourites were some cow cake cutters and turnip crunchers as well as some fine roman coins and an almost complete Ichthyosaur fossil. It is well worth taking your pint of Lop-sided Kate for a walk around.

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