The Grant Museum of Zoology

August 5, 2009 at 9:59 pm | Posted in General, London, museum, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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Over at UCL (University College London), near Euston tube, in amongst all of the academic departments you’ll find the free Grant Museum of Zoology and its collection of animal specimens.

It’s well signposted so should be fairly easy to find on the campus however it is in a teaching building so you you’ll need to advise security when you enter in order to get buzzed through the barriers.

As the name suggests this smallish museum looks at the animal kingdom. Upon entering you’ll see rows of display cabinets and every other piece of available space seemingly filled with different specimens. While not dark and musty it is still atmospheric, a cross between modern student and Victorian collector.

The first part details the development of the collection and the influence of its subsequent curators. The second section (and bulk of the floorspace) is devoted to each of the classes with multiple examples (generally skeletons, some in jars) in the cabinets.

The overview panels in each area provide just enough information to enlighten without boring a general reader. Each specimen will have a name tag and a number will provide more in-depth information.

Besides the general museum goer you may come across students and artists drawing some of the specimens.

For those with an interest in zoology and don’t want to go to the natural history museum then this is an excellent option .

The Petrie museum is also located nearby within the UCL campus.

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The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

February 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Posted in General, London, museum, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | 1 Comment
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Located near Euston and within the University College London is the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. It’s free to enter and open Tuesday to Saturday. When you reach the entrance you’ll need to press a buzzer and wait for someone to come down and let you in.

The museum houses a wide collection of pieces from across Ancient Egypt. As you enter you’ll walk through a row of cases with wall fragments and stones covered in hieroglyphs. The complexity and intricacy of the work is fascinating and I’m sure it would be horrific for a scribe to make a mistake! Also on this main floor are a number of display cases featuring daily life objects from early fabrics to cosmetics.

The lower floor predominantly houses a variety of ceramics and sculptures. There’s a sign advising that due to the darkness of the museum it would be wise to use one of the complimentary flashlights. Not only were there no flashlights available but it wasn’t particularly dark. Unless we missed an entire wing!

There is some information associated with each section but not a great deal for specific items; possibly this was less necessary when the museum was predominantly used by knowledgeable historians.

The museum is reasonably small and easy to navigate. I think that for the most part only those with a love of history and Egypt will get much out of it. Although having said that we did see several families with small children walking around and they seemed interested in the bits and pieces.

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