A world of wonder
Natural History Museum
Where history lives
Since opening in 1926, Wollaton Hall has been home to Nottingham’s Natural History Museum.
With a collection of 750,000 objects, ranging from fossils, minerals, plants and eggs to invertebrates, vertebrates, shells (molluscs) and taxidermy, as well as preserved ‘spirit’ animals and rare specimens from across the globe, Wollaton is the largest dedicated Natural History museum in the county.
For all things Natural History, follow George the Gorilla on Twitter @george_gorilla
Explore the relationship between the natural world and humans with rare and extinct animal specimens, including a flightless parrot from New Zealand, duck-billed platypus, giant anteater and maned sloth, plus an orangutan skeleton, hippo skull and Humboldt penguin.
Recreated in the style of a 1930s museum, the gallery contains birds and game heads, alongside contemporary specimens. Many collected in Ethiopia and Sudan by nineteenth century explorer Mansfield Parkyns with two specimens of the Shoebill brought to Europe in 1850.
Butterflies, moths, beetles and bugs from around the world. Focusing on the biology and life cycles of insects, see a Caribbean ‘cloud forest’ diorama with the birds and mammals dependent on termite colonies for food and nest sites. Live insects – including stick insects from Borneo and a colony of Madagascan hissing cockroaches – are available to pet!
With over 5,000 specimens – including those from the Nottingham Naturalists’ Society collection and classic minerals from the North of England as well as Cornwall and Devon – get close to giant ammonites and fossilised shells of ancient squid-like creatures.
See George – Wollaton Hall’s very own gorilla – as well as giraffe and cheetah at the ‘walk-through’ waterhole complete with zebra, leopard, hyena, antelope, warthog and ostrich. Interactive panels allow you to hear sounds made by the animals.
A collection of preserved plants is a ‘herbarium’. Nottingham’s Natural History Museum contains 100,000 pressed plants and flowers from across the globe, as well as seeds and other botanical samples.
Organisms preserved in jars of fluid or ‘spirit’ for soft-bodied animals that cannot be dried or undergo taxidermy. The spirit collection at Nottingham Natural History Museum contains 1,000 glass jars of preserved organisms from around Europe.
The geological collection of the Nottingham Natural History Museum contains 47,000 rocks, minerals and fossils. The fossils originate predominantly from Britain, while the rocks and minerals from across the world.