London: Natural History Museum





If you live in London and noticed an absence of school children in the city today that is because they were all with me at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Not sure why we saved this trip for the last day of school holidays but there we were in the midst of some of the natural wonders of the world and it was pretty cool. So says my 10 year old son.

A 'temple to nature', the museum was purpose built in the 1870s to house the nations natural history collections.  The museum currently holds about 70 million specimens and they say that number is still growing.  Only a fraction of them are on display. The storerooms sound equally impressive. 
Much of this is due to the original contributor, Sir Hans Sloane ( 1660-1753). A London doctor, naturalist and collector he amassed 80,000 objects and books which filled his London home. Imagine trying to tidy up around his place.  He left his collection to the nation in his will which in turn formed the basis for the Britsh Museum in Bloomsbury.  In 1881 it was 'all hands on deck' to move the collection to its current home, the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. The zoological collection alone took more than 97 days and 394 trips by horse and cart.  Just imagine! 

I must say...it is a spectacular building inside and out and deserves many trips to appreciate all its splendour. My only advise is to avoid the school holidays unless you have curious children of your own!
             
                           

             
                               
            

      

 Images taken by Jeanne Henriques
Reference from Natural History Museum

3 comments:

  1. So glad you enjoyed your visit Jeanne - it is amazing but I do think you are right about avoiding school holidays! x

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  2. Fabulous Jeanne
    Back in my primary school days [a million years ago] we went to the Natural History Museum and the Applied Arts & Sciences Museum every fortnight.. I haven't been in years.. but loved it at the time.. must go again soon.. thanks for the reminder.. xxx Julie

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  3. How wonderful to see photos and learn of the history of the British Natural History Museum! It is great to live so close to these treasures that it is an easy field trip or weekend jaunt for families! Living near Washington, DC, I am lucky to have many opportunities to visit museums, large and small, and historical sites. I will soon be posting photos on my blog re: The Sully Plantation,in Chantilly, Virginia, which I visited last Friday while chaperoning a local private school field trip. Cassandra

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