Today marks one of the biggest events in Dorchester's history.

Dippy the Diplodocus has arrived in Dorset, on the first stop of a nationwide tour, and today he has been unveiled in a VIP opening before being open to the public tomorrow.

The 26-metre replica of a fossilised skeleton of a dinosaur found in 1898 has been famously on show at The Natural History Museum in London since 1905.

It has not before been publicly displayed outside the museum.

The skeleton is a cast made in the early 1900s from an original in Pennsylvania, USA.

It is an example of the Diplodocus carnegii species, which lived between 145 and 156 million years ago.

The species is named after Andrew Carnegie, a 19th-century industrialist and philanthropist who donated the cast to the Natural History Museum.

Lucky competition winner, 11-year-old Harry Swift from Eastleigh, Hampshire, placed the very last piece of the Dippy cast this morning.

Dippy will be unveiled at Dorset County Museum today and visitors will be able to see him in the Victorian Hall from tomorrow (10) until Monday, May 7.

Dippy's three-year tour begins in Dorchester.  It will then be shown at museums and cathedrals in Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cardiff, Rochdale and Norwich.

It is estimated that five million people will see the skeleton on its tour.

Tickets to see Dippy in Dorchester are free and allocated on a first come first served basis from or from the museum's reception.

Museum members will be allowed unlimited access to the exhibition, so if you are unfortunate not to be allocated the time slot you want, you could still see Dippy by becoming a member and supporting the museum.

Call 01305 756827 or check the website on for more information on Dippy.