February 13, 2015

Natural History Museum

After Scarborough, we went to London, and one of the sights on my list has long been the Natural History Museum. It is one of several museums along Exhibition Road, among them the Victoria and Albert Museum that we went to some years ago to see an exhibition of historical fashion. The Natural History Museum was built by Alfred Waterhouse, who was part of the Victorian Gothic Revival and the building itself is reason enough to take time out to go there. It´s a cathedral dedicated to ecology. You have probably seen it it a film or two. I remember an episode of "Spooks" a few years ago, with spies walking and talking around the dinosaur in the main hall - that scene specifically put it on my list of places to go.

Of course, there were even more dinosaurs further inside the museum, and they seemed to be the main attraction for the many visitors, many of whom were children - perhaps the free entrance adds to the attraction for families. They have a lot of special programs for school children - we saw hoards of little girls in white coats, carrying clipboards, being Dino-scientists! Unfortunately, this option was not available for adults...

If you ever have a rainy day in London, I can really recommend this place.

The details are charming.

All individually fantastic pieces of art, used to decorate the ceiling.

From one of the side galleries.

View from the top floor; the statue of Charles Darwin throned on the stair opposite.

The top jewel, a slice of a Redwood Tree.

The modern extensions have a completely different design,
but works well with Waterhouse´s original style.

The SOE, special operations executive, which supported resistance
in occupied territory during World War II, had offices in
the building where agents were trained in using "specialised military equipment".


They have so many skeletons that they display them on two floors in a single room, leading the visitors through on up-hoisted gangways.

This fleshed out specimen had sound effects. Very Jurassic Park.

Boy pondering a dino nursery.

Some theories as to why they died out. I sympathise with this, though I doubt it...

... and this, I want to believe!


  1. I enjoy reading Natural History (or used to -now that I think about it, I can't remember the last Natural History book I read), and I enjoy Natural History exhibits in museums. And museums with that kind of architectural presence? I think I'd be in heaven :)

    1. Yes, this is a wonderful museum, and Natural History is very interesting, although I must say I was a fairly average student in the Natural Sciences (which was my major in highschool). If I was a Brit I´d have memberships and passes to English Heritage and all sorts of museums - wonderful places to go for a few hours on a Saturday.