The Natural History Museum is one of London’s most popular museums, and on your visit you’ll certainly discover why. The venue holds a veritable treasure trove of finds from the natural world, spanning millennia of exploration and knowledge. We’ve compiled this quick guide to tell you a little more about some of the top artefacts on display, ensuring a productive trip to see these items up close…
Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’
Now consider amongst the most important scientific texts ever written, Charles Darwin’s book was nothing if not controversial at the time of its original release on 24th November 1859. Today, the biological theories set out in the book form the basis of much of our understanding of the natural world. ‘On the Origin of Species’ has sparked ongoing debate and interest in the intervening years, and on a visit to the museum you’ll be able to see a first edition of the text.
The first floor of the museum focuses on the early days of planet earth, and the earliest days of humankind. There are 130,000 unique specimens of mineral at the Mineral Gallery, and numerous meteorites. Amongst the most remarkable, the exhibit includes the Cranbourne meteorite which weighs an impressive 3.5 tonnes, and hails from Australia. For fans of all things space, this will be a fascinating addition to any trip to the San Domenico House London.
Lucy the Australopithecus
Commonly known as Lucy, this exhibit is comprised of a selection of bones belonging to an early female Australopithecus. The bones represent around 40% of a full skeleton, and were first discovered in Africa in 1974. Believed to be up to 5m years old, these bones are one of the biggest draws at the museum, and sure to intrigue guests enjoying a stay in Chelsea London.
There are plenty of dinosaur bones and dinosaur-themed finds at the Natural History Museum, most prominently examples of the Iguanodon and Hypsilophodon. Here you’ll find dinosaur skeletons sourced from around the globe, providing lots of interest for guests at 5 star hotels in Chelsea.
A 1626 painting provided the only reference point when trying to curate a series of dodo fossils, and whilst the painting is no longer considered an accurate representation, curator Richard Owen used the picture in 1866 whilst writing down the official description of the extinct bird species. Visitors to the Natural History Museum can see the painting for themselves, and discover more of the historical context for the interpretation.
Late night visits
One of the best things about the Natural History Museum is the sheer flexibility possible during each visit. The venue offers extended opening hours and late night events perfect for visitors who already have plans for the day. Visiting outside of standard opening hours also ensures a great way to beat the queues! To find out more, head for the official museum website.