The Natural History Museum was established in 1881 in South Kensington, London.
The museum is home to more than 80 million specimens spanning billions of years. These items are grouped in five main collections: paleontology, botany, zoology, entomology and mineralogy.
Nowadays, the Natural History Museum is a world-renowned centre of research specialized in taxonomy, identification and conservation.
The origins of the Museum go back to 1753, after doctor Sir Hans Sloane’s death. Sir Hans Sloane was a naturalist and collector who travelled the world collecting natural history specimens and cultural artefacts.
Sloane’s will allowed the British Government to buy his collection of more than 71,000 items at a price well below its estimated value.
The collection was bought and, in 1756, it was displayed to the public in the British Museum’s natural history collection. However, the ever-growing collection of natural history specimens lead to the construction of another building to house these national treasures.
One of the Britain’s most striking examples of Romanesque architecture was then built and the new museum opened its doors in 1881.
Though it remained part of the British Museum until 1963, it was only in 1992 that the museum was officially renamed Natural History Museum.
– Red Zone
This zone, which can be accessed directly from the Exhibition Road entrance, is dedicated to the ever-changing Earth.
In the Earth Hall you will find the world’s most complete Stegosaurus skeleton ever found.
Up at the Volcanoes and Earthquakes gallery the main attractions are an earthquake simulator, a volcano and earthquake locator and a heat-resistant suit. On the same floor, in the Restless Surface gallery, the visitors can learn how rivers are formed and the role wind and air currents play in shaping a planet.
In the From the Beginning gallery you will discover the origins of the universe. Earth’s Treasury shows specimens of rocks, minerals and gemstones. The Earth Lab gallery is rich in prehistoric geological specimens. On the ground floor there are two more galleries – Human Evolution and Lasting Impressions.
Through the galleries that constitute the green zone the visitors will follow Earth’s evolution and uncover the relationships between life forms and their environments.
See a dodo skeleton and the first edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in the Treasures gallery. Marvel at the many fossils on display in the Fossil Marine Reptile gallery. The Ecology gallery will show you how all living thing are connected. Explore the arthropod’s world in the Creepy Crawlies gallery. See the world’s largest collection of coloured diamonds as well as gems that glow in the dark in the Vault gallery.
– Blue Zone
Some of the largest and most impressive specimens in the Museum are displayed in the Blue Zone.
Meet some of the ocean’s most weird and wonderful species. See the fossil of a Tyrannosaurus rex – one of the largest carnivores of all time. Discover the biggest mammals, such as the blue whale and the giant elk. Investigate the lives of marine invertebrates. Learn more about yourself. How do your memories function? How do hormones affect your body? And so much more.
– Orange Zone
Explore science and nature and see scientists at work in the Darwin Centre.
Enjoy the tranquil habitats of the Wildlife Garden, which is home to thousands of British specimens.
Opening hours: 10:00 – 18:00
Entrance fee: free