London is full of fascinating historical, arty or scientific collections, and we’re not just talking about those at the V&A or the Natural History Museum. Stuff like the Vagina Museum, Walthamstow’s Vestry House and the Magic Circle are just some of the weird and wonderful alternative museums the city has to offer. And excitingly, one of London’s quirkiest institutions is about to reopen.
The Grant Museum of Zoology closed its doors for renovations in March 2023, but for all lovers of bugs, skeletons and extinct creatures, you’re in luck – it’s due to welcome visitors again from February 6.
The Grant is near Euston Square and Warren Street tube stations, and is housed in a former Edwardian library that belongs to UCL.
An estimated £300,000 has been spent on the makeover, courtesy of the both Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the Wolfson Museums and Galleries improvement foundation.
Lovers of the classic Grant layout, don’t worry: the refurbishment has maintained the distinct floor-to-ceiling displays which were part of the OG museum’s charm. London blogger IanVisits said that ‘the changes will see the main space have new interpretation to highlight the astonishing diversity of life in the natural world.’
And the contents of the Grant Museum of Zoology are pretty astonishing. Among the museum’s 67,000 specimens is an enormous collection of dead animals, some of which are extinct species, elephant skulls, pickled worms, plus a jar of moles (which is something of a local mascot), some plastic dinosaurs, and even a Micrarium, a sort of dramatic display of tiny insects. Yikes.
So, if you’re after a slightly whackier thing to do over the next few weeks, the Grant Museum of Zoology will open Tuesday to Friday from 1pm to 5pm, and 11am to 5pm on Saturdays.
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