A cathedral of learning
The neo-Gothic Museum, built in 1861, reflects the purpose of the building in every arch and pillar. The central court is reminiscent of a cathedral with its arched roof supported by towering cast iron pillars that split the space into three aisles. The glass roof filters in sunlight that shines down on the massive Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton and his other friends.
Home to 7 million exhibits
Yes, that’s right! The Museum houses a variety of exhibits from fossils to crabs from Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle.
It’s best to enjoy the exhibits the way the museum has arranged them. Earth Collections comprise fossils, minerals and rocks. Don’t be put off by ‘rocks’ – they include spectacular gems and incredibly rare meteorites too! Life Collections consist of zoological specimens like the famous Oxford Dodo and the amazing Hope Entomological* Collections.
The Museum prides itself on being able to cater to all kinds of visitors. While scholars can pore over rare journals and manuscripts, little children will take great pleasure in patting Mandy, the stuffed Shetland pony and other animals. And, of course, the Museum Shop provides a range of bespoke products while their Café (overlooking the dinos, no less) is the perfect place to enjoy an English cuppa.
*Biological term for insects.