A historian and TV presenter described a Dorset museum as one of the best he has ever visited.

TV star Dan Snow visited Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester to film a new show for his online channel History Hit TV.

The programme, ‘Snow on the Road’ sees Mr Snow travel across the UK exploring places of historical significance.

Shire Hall was Dorset’s courthouse from 1797 until 1955, seeing everything from the 1834 trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs to the 1856 domestic abuse case that inspired Thomas Hardy to write ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’.

It was later used as offices for West Dorset District Council and is now a museum, bringing over two centuries of justice history to life.

It also offers a space that can be used for education and a host of events including theatre, music and children's activities.

During his visit, Mr Snow visited the Georgian courtroom and the underground cells, as well as some of the hidden passages around the building.

He said: “It’s been a complete revelation. It’s one of the best museums I have come to in ages. I’m here making a series about the wonderful places around the UK and some of my favourite heritage places. This is definitely one of my favourites – I urge you to come visit it.”

Mr Snow explained how the museum directly related to the modern world.

He said: “If you are a soldier on a battlefield, a farmer or a patient in a hospital, your experience is radically different to what it was 200 or 300 years ago. If you come here, I don’t think your experience as an accused person is that different – that’s really important.

“That’s what museums and heritage centres are for. It’s to go and find it intrinsically interesting and enjoyable, but also to really make you think about the modern world and this place has definitely made me do that.”

The new series will be out later in the year on History Hit TV.

Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum on High West Street is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.