When visitors to Poole Museum reach its second floor, they are greeted with displays that showcase the stories and lives of famous and influential Poolers who have shaped the coastal Dorset town.
In one cabinet on this floor sits a small rock. One could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that this is a local paleontological find, considering Poole’s proximity to the home of 19th-century fossil hunter Mary Anning, one of England’s earliest and most famous paleontologists. This is not the case, however, as this rock’s discovery is more recent, but is still a highly treasured find.
In the summer of 2019, a young girl by the name of Bethan was visiting Poole Museum with her mom. While exploring all the site had to offer, she and her mother began to discuss what museums do and why. Inspired by her visit, Bethan felt eager to support the museum’s collection. She decided to donate her most precious treasure, something that she felt was appropriately significant and valuable: her favorite rock. Curators placed Bethan’s Rock in a glass cabinet, just like many of the museum’s other valuable artifacts, where visitors are now able to appreciate the piece as much as Bethan once did.