Wool House

Beside the customs house and town beam is the Wool House dating from around 1433, when the port was granted the Wool Staple by Henry IV. Ports of the Staple were licensed to import and export the goods of the staple, had a court of the staple and were presided over by the mayor of the staple who had jurisdiction over contracts and all those concerned with them in connection with the particular staple. Staples included wool, leather, lead, tin, butter, cheese and cloths.

Known then as the King’s Hall and subsequently as the Town Cellars, today it houses the Poole Museum Local History Centre.

Originally the building was 120ft long and it remained that length until in the early C19th when Thames Street was extended through it. If you stand at the Thames street gable end of the building today you will see that the building end matches that in the King Charles public house opposite which is its original continuation. The western end of the building survives behind the Harbour Office.


Showing the original plan view of the building, and indicating the way it was “knocked through” for the sake of extending Thames Street southwards through it to the Quay in the late C18th. Built in C15th once 120 ft long, and known as the “Wool House” or the “Kings Hall”.

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 2, South east , pp 180-240, HMSO 1970