Natural History Museum - Londres

Natural History Museum - Londres

The Natural History Museum first opened its doors to the public on Easter Monday in 1881, but its origins go back more than 250 years.

It all started when physician and collector of natural curiosities, Sir Hans Sloane, left his extensive collection to the nation in 1753.

Originally Sloane’s specimens formed part of the British Museum, but as other collections were added, including specimens collected by botanist Joseph Banks on his 1768-1771 voyage with Captain James Cook aboard HMS Endeavour, the natural history elements started to need their own home.

Sir Richard Owen, Superintendent of the British Museum’s natural history collection, persuaded the Government that a new museum was needed. He had an ambitious plan – to display species in related groups and to exhibit typical specimens with prominent qualities.

The chosen site in South Kensington was previously occupied by the 1862 International Exhibition building, once described as ‘the ugliest building in London’. Ironically, it was the architect of that building, Captain Francis Fowke, who won the design competition for the new Natural History Museum.

However, in 1865 Fowke died suddenly and the contract was awarded instead to a rising young architect from Manchester, Alfred Waterhouse.

Waterhouse altered Fowke’s design from Renaissance to German Romanesque, creating the beautiful Waterhouse Building we know today. By 1883 the mineralology and natural history collections were in their new home. But the collections were not finally declared a museum in their own right until 1963.

Accès M° :
* By tube We are within walking distance of South Kensington station on the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines * By bus Routes 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414 and C1 stop near us. Some tour buses also pass nearby * By bicycle There are
Adresse :
Cromwell Road
Téléphone :
+44 (0)20 7942 5000
Site Web :
Tous les jours de 10h à 17h50

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