Photo of Grant Museum of Zoology in London, , GB
Photo of Grant Museum of Zoology in London, , GB
Photo of Grant Museum of Zoology in London, , GB
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Grant Museum of Zoology

Tourist Attraction

moles • university college • preserved animals • animal skeletons

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  • Photo of graham a
    2 months ago
    A little gem of a place. Lots to look at although some displays a bit too high or too low to look at properly. An interesting visit. It is free but there is a "donation" box near the entrance/exit.
  • Photo of JRBrookes
    2 months ago
    First a disclaimer: I have no particular love, or even like, of things related to zoology. I don't like creepy crawlies. Snakes of all size scare me rigid. And during my first attempt at dissection (of a frog) in year 9 science I began to feel queasy even before the process began, as a result of which the scalpel I had been foolishly entrusted with slipped and I almost cut off my own index finger. As a result, I typically shy away from attractions which include examples of previously live creatures (or parts thereof) which I try to avoid in my day to day life. But I do have a great love for small and (occasionally) slightly odd little museums, and the unexpected treasures they have on display. So, after reading a small comment about Grants Museum of Zoology in the latest Time Out I was quite curious and intrigued. So much so that later that same day, I took a detour on the way to an afternoon meeting to explore what sounded like a little treasure box. I was particularly intrigued to see what this museum was all about as in almost 20 years of living in London and despite the museum's central London location in a neighbourhood I thought I knew well, I had never heard of the museum before. As it turns out, the Museum is easily found, once you know that it is there, and upon entering this little gem of a museum, I immediately felt like I had stepped back in time as I walked into an extraordinary place from time long past. I now know that the museum was established almost 200 years ago by Robert Edmond Grant as a teaching collection of zoological specimens and material for dissection. The museum was left Grant’s own collection on his death, and the museum’s current holdings also include specimens given by a number of individuals and institutions including Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London, the London Zoo and various London hospital comparative anatomy collections. The museum’s entire collection apparently includes almost 70,000 specimens, of which an impressive number are on display in the fairly small space which is open to the public on one floor of the museum. However, despite the modest square footage open for exploration, the museum does not disappoint in terms of the number, variety and remarkable quality of what is on display. Many of the items in the museum’s collection are very rare, but the fascinating way that the exhibits are set up mean that even the potentially ordinary are made extraordinary. I will say that the museum will not be to everyone’s taste, particularly as the sight of so many preserved specimens is initially a bit overwhelming. But that feeling quickly gave way to fascination and surprise at what is on display. By way of example of the remarkable items on display, and also the first hint that I knew that I had have found something truly special, was found in first display cabinet I stopped to look at just inside the entrance to the museum. While I certainly never had this on my bucket list of sights to see, when I found myself looking at a Jar of Moles (yes literally! I took a picture to prove it!) I knew that I was in for a visit full of surprises. Unfortunately I had only limited time to explore the museum on my first visit, but in the 30 minutes I had that day, I was able to quickly cover everything that was on display. In that time I saw sights ranging from a box of Dodo bones, to a giant millipede, a whale ear bone and the head of a baby wallaby next to that of a wolfish. I also added a number of things to my “must google” list after seeing the skull of a thylacine, a bandicoot and a full skeleton of a large flying fox! All new and all of such interest that I want to know more. In addition to the museum’s interesting non-living inhabitants, there are also a number of live beings who will be encountered as you wander past the display cabinets and exhibits. All of these were employees of the museum, as the museum is a working museum, which makes the environment just a bit more special and interesting. When I visited, some of the employees were setting up a new display of “Ordinary Animals” which will be in place until the end of the year. Some of the exhibits for this display were already in place and look fascinating. So, I can’t wait for the rest of the display to be ready as it will give me a wonderful reason to plan a second and longer visit to this fun, fascinating and slightly freaky but special place. And one last important and wonderful fact about this wonderful little treasure: Admission is free and there's no squabble causing, bad mood inducing, request encouraging gift shop that you are required to pass through as you leave! I was so delighted not to be faced with a display of sad and overpriced souvenirs on departure that I emptied all of the (admittedly small amount of) cash in my pockets into the museum's donation box. Only a small way of saying thank you for still be a place of "old fashioned" wonder and awe in the modern times we live in.
  • Photo of Olbrit1
    2 months ago
    It is a quiet and interesting gem of zoology located 10 minutes walk from Euston Station. It is free to enter and there are some study tables so you can have a sit down and check your email :0) . It is a repository of anatomically labelled skeletons in rather over populated glass cases but they do allow photography. We found it a very good way to while away a 'free' hour in London. Note that there are no toilets or cloakroom for visitors.
  • Photo of breedon
    2 months ago
    Visited here one Saturday afternoon while we were in the area. I have to say it was more like a stores than a museum. Why put things on show a mile up in the air in glass cases in which you have no chance to view them. Some people didn't even notice them up there !!!. We covered the whole area on one floor in less than 15 minutes. Please don't go too far out of your way to visit.
  • Photo of OverTheRainbowLondon
    A small university zoology museum housed in a Victorian wood paneled galleried hall. All creatures great and small, vials, jars, skeletons and a number of oddities and curiosities. The Rock Python skeleton and the 'woolly monkey' were particularly impressive. An interesting way to spend an hour or so.
  • Photo of Michael R
    3 months ago
    Was so pleased when I discovered this place and if I'm ever in the area with a bit of time to kill, I pop back in for a nose around. Really wonderful and impressive collection. Worth it for the jar of moles alone.
  • Photo of SusanPakka
    3 months ago
    This museum isn't for everyone. For those who have an interest in skeletons, and bottled specimens, however, it is quite remarkable. It is contained in just one room - is fascinating & at the same time makes me a little melancholy.. All of the specimens are old - so it shouldn't do so - but there you are. I believe there are guide books to the specimens - just inside the door, which I noticed as I left. This was my first visit, however, and as such I enjoyed just wandering around with my eyes wide. Next time I will go with more time and on my own...as I find that's the best way to visit museums, unless everyone is of the same like mindedness. On a practical note: Open only between M & Saturday - 13.00 - 17.00. From Euston Square, walk down Gower Street - say 300 hundred yards and you will see a notice for the museum on your right attached to the iron railings. It was extraordinary. Stuffed full of things to look at, but really ISN'T for everyone...for those who are curious - then enjoy. They also do events and you can adopt the specimens too. Oh, and poss. one of the most important facts - its FREE and there is a very friendly and helpful member of staff just inside the door. Depending on the family, and the young children you have it is suitable for both for families with young children / teens. You know your offspring. For some it will be fine, for others they might not sleep. Not for Business...but would be fine for Couples, Friends and for Solo Visits.... It does involve animals (a question below), however, they are deceased. So its not a cuddly sort of place or visit... No discounts for aged people or children - as its free... I didn't ask to see specific things - which they may allow that, but I don't know so they may charge...ask and find out! I had thought that the Dodo at the Natural History Museum was a complete specimen, however, it seems there are none in existence, so it must be a replica. The Grant Museum, however, has a display of two incomplete sets of bones. Now I know they are from a real example – and how rare they are, I was quite taken with it. At the back of the room they had some small specimens in bottles. These had a reddish tinge, and seemed to show the bones, as well as the outer skins. They were, it said, part of the Alizarin preparations. Which it seems makes soft tissue appear clear and colourless and stains bone red, allowing the position of the skeleton to be visualised within the body….and these were rather beautiful. They also had a Venus Flower Basket – which is a type of sponge, found the Internet says, in the oceans near Japan – the delicacy and detail of the thing was breath-taking. Just opposite there was a jar of Sea Mice, and next to that a single Sea Mouse residing in a bottle. These looked particularly curious. Small iridescent skins of something – maybe, even mice. Having looked on the Internet today, though, I find they are actually marine worms found in the Mediterranean. The entry goes on to say… Aphrodita aculeate. The name of the genus is taken from Aphrodite, the Ancient Greek goddess of love. This is because when viewed ventrally, the animal resembles a human female’s genitalia. The English name may derive from the supposed resemblance to a bedraggled mouse when washed up on the shore. It has certainly made me think… The skeletons and skulls were impressive, not just in number, but also in range – from tiny mice, shrews, and a tenrec, through to an African elephant and the cases were filled often with a number of different species. All the skeletons were beautifully mounted – so you could see all the details – some bones were so fine, you wondered how they managed to put them together. I find that the bottle specimens, though, are perhaps the most disturbing…They are particularly proud of a bottle of dead moles and I’m afraid I didn’t like the domestic cat at all. I can, however, look carefully at dead lizards with a great deal of curiosity and I have very little in the way of qualms about human remains. I have learnt over the years that I do have quite considerable double standards…on so many different subjects…
  • Photo of Matt C
    3 months ago
    Headed to the grant museum with big expectations. Boy were they met. A small museum with limited opening hours but if you are around it's worth the stop. Regardless of age there's something for everyone. Truly incredible array of skeletons including some of long extinct species.
  • Photo of UmiMaMaT
    3 months ago
    My kids LOVED it! Quite small but my kids loved it!! Quite close to the British Museum so I suggest pairing it when you visit there. I would say we spent at least 1 hour. It was FREE
  • Photo of Karla S
    3 months ago
    When you get tired of the chaos and noise at the British Museum walk up Bloomsbury/Gower Street toward Euston Station. Eventually you will find this delightful museum of zoological artifacts from around the world.
  • Photo of Jane S
    3 months ago
    A small but cram packed place. Went with my 10 and 7yr old children. 7yr old son loved all the specimens, skeletons, and gross stuff in jars but 10yr old daughter wasn't impressed and wanted to leave when she realised the human skeleton above us was real. A really fascinating place and would recommend to families with kids that love gross things!!!!!!
  • Photo of naturesgirl1
    4 months ago
    I visited this museum after finding it on tripadvisor with my daughters aged 13 and 7. We are usually regular visitors to the larger and more well known museums, so it was a nice treat to discover this hidden gem. The museum is housed on one floor and isn't very large but is jam packed with a large assortment of extremely interesting specimens. My girls were both in awe of the varying skeletons from a wide variety of animals, including extinct animals. Some standout specimens were the skeletons of the Indian Rhino, an elephants heart, and the skeleton on a python. We were a little distressed seeing the moles in a jar, but on further research learned that is cheaper to store multiple specimens in this way. Definitely worth a visit!
  • Photo of Boudin882
    4 months ago
    This amazing zoological collection , at the back of UCL hospital , is the result of Victorian curiosity and exploration. It is a small hall crammed with vertebrate and invertebrate specimens, stuffed, pickled in bottles or as skeletal remains. There are also fossils. It was worth coming just to see the expression on the faces of visiting children, and it is free.
  • Photo of A TripAdvisor Member
    Found this little gem of a museum by accident. Well worth a visit: it's open on a Monday afternoon, it's free and it's compact. If you're into skeletons of different species, specimens in formaldehyde and taxidermy - this is the place to go. My favourite exhibit: the skeleton of a rock python wrapped around a branch. Apparently all the samples were used for teaching purposes. Something different to the BM, the V&A or the NHM.
  • Photo of ranjanapathak
    4 months ago
    The Grant Museum of Zoology is a natural history museum. It is a part of University College London. It is used as a teaching collection of zoological specimens and material for dissection. There are many rare and extinct specimens in this museum. It is Open from 1-5pm and admission is free. Photography in the museum is only with permission. A small museum, but worth visiting.
  • Photo of I_Jones41
    4 months ago
    Not for the squeamish but definitely different and unusual. Will be going again and I would recommend it as a place to go if you have time.
  • Photo of Graydon W
    4 months ago
    This collection is a fantastic one, with several rare species on offer. Being a part of UCL it's a 'working museum' so students are there working too. A great way to spend an hour away for the hustle and bustle of London.
  • Photo of Kirk B
    4 months ago
    This place is small so you'll get through it in under an hour. But the collections are very thorough and it's fascinating to see it all. Might be gross for small children. So be sure to bring them ;-)
  • Photo of JourneyPilot
    5 months ago
    Great museum to visit and wander round. Free entry and a central location. Highly recommended to visitors young and old!
  • Photo of Bryn E
    5 months ago
    This has to be one of those small gems that are rare to find around London. Now as I have an interest in biology/zoology I found this place fascinating. It has to be one of the largest collections of animal specimens I've come across with an enormous variety of species and display methods. I happily spent over an hour pacing through the single room inspecting anything I could. If you go to the natural history museum and love the animal sections but are left wanting more this is the best place to go. Will definitely re-visit and possibly adopt an exhibit.

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