The Grant Museum of Zoology

For the last couple of months I’ve been doing some on-and-off work in the Grant Museum of Zoology in London. I had dropped into this place a few times before in the past, but recently the collection has moved (all of about 100 yards down the road) to a new and more spacious setting. The museum was started, and remains, a teaching collection for comparative anatomy and as such is devoted to zoology alone and retains a great many and varied specimens on display.

As with the traditions of older museums (like Oxford and Dublin for example), material is everywhere and there’s a lovely cluttered feel with every cabinet and shelf full of specimens. While it can be a nightmare to photograph in situ, each specimen can be see quite clearly so as a visitor it’s fine. A lot of the material is grouped taxonomically providing great opportunities for comparing details (and there are some fossils in there too), though there are small asides for relevant collections such as a case devoted to dissected heads, or one comparing different ways of preserving zoology specimens, or recently extinct taxa (featuring a quagga and thylacine skeleton, and a skin of the latter).

The vertebrates do especially well and there’s a super skeletal collection of the mammals in particular. There’s a nice line in having skeletons next to taxidermy or pickled specimens too which is great, and all manner of odd and unusual pieces that are rarely seen on displays. If you want to see a leopard seal skull, pickled baby aardvark or stuffed golden mole, this is the place for you. All in all this is a superb little museum and for those like me who do like their anatomy and simply want to see lots and lots of specimens, this really is a must.

9 Responses to “The Grant Museum of Zoology”

  1. 1 Marc Vincent 19/06/2012 at 10:44 am

    I visisted this museum last year and absolutely loved it. It can be a little difficult to visit for people who work full time (due to the opening hours), but it’s worth it if you get the chance.

  2. 2 Zhen 19/06/2012 at 2:22 pm

    I thought that was a Smilodon for a second…

  3. 3 Chris Major 19/06/2012 at 4:06 pm

    Looks amazing, After reading your blog I will try to pay it a visit next time I’m in that part of the world.

    Thank you for sharing

  4. 4 himmapaan 19/06/2012 at 6:38 pm

    You didn’t showcase the famous jar of moles? 🙂

    I visited with Marc last year. As you say, I love the slightly cluttered nineteenth century feel as much as seeing all the specimens themselves. I don’t seem to recall the skeletons from the upper gallery; how wonderful. Perhaps it’s time for a revisit…

    • 5 David Hone 19/06/2012 at 9:39 pm

      I missed the moles, but there’s a great jar of seamice. Quite a few things around the balcony levels if you look and nice touches like the sloth skeleton hanging underneath.

      • 6 himmapaan 19/06/2012 at 9:52 pm

        I may have forgotten seeing them if they were there last time. I do remember wishing we would be allowed access to the gallery though, as I glimpsed some beautiful engravings and really wanted to see them.

  5. 8 The Exhibition List 20/06/2012 at 1:13 am

    What wonderful pictures, thanks for sharing

  6. 9 Mark Robinson 20/06/2012 at 4:07 am

    Yes, that is how I like my museums – rows of wood-framed cabinets stuffed full of specimens. I had to look up what a seamouse is, so I learned something, too.

Comments are currently closed.

@Dave_Hone on Twitter


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 574 other followers

%d bloggers like this: