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University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge
(4.6/5 based on 25+ reviews on the web)
The University Museum of Zoology is a museum of the University of Cambridge and part of the research community of the Department of Zoology. The Museum houses an extensive collection of scientifically important zoological material. The collections were Designated in 1998 by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (now managed by the Arts Council England) as being of outstanding historical and international importance.The Museum of Zoology is on the New Museums Site, just north of Downing Street in central Cambridge, England. Admission is free (2014).The Museum is currently closed (2014) while it undergoes a major redevelopment, for which it has been awarded a grant of £1.8m by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The redevelopment aims to create displays and new interpretation to engage people with the wonders of animal diversity; create new stores to care for the Museum’s internationally significant collections to the highest standards and expand the Museum’s learning programmes, reaching out to wider audiences and increasing online resources. The museum will reopen in 2016.The Museum is one of the eight museums of the University of Cambridge Museums consortium.History of the MuseumMuch of the Museum’s material derives from the great collecting expeditions of the 19th century, which provided the first documentation of the fauna in many parts of the world. The earliest exhibits come from the Harwood anatomical collection which was purchased in 1814. The museum added further collections including birds from Swainson and animals from the Cambridge Philosophical Society, to which Charles Darwin himself had contributed.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Another place for a rainy day is a Zoological Museum, located next to Pembroke College at Downing Street. Numerous stuffed animals and skeletons collected over the years of its existence the Museum more interesting to specialists, rather than simple visitors, but few large skeletons pretty curious.
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  • If you love science, I know you will love this museum it houses most unique specimens including Darwin's own hand written collections of bugs and finches. 
  • Closed for refurbishment for 3 years(!) - see their website for details. Until it closed, it was great with a huge variety of interesting exhibits. 
Google
  • Very cool museum that feels like a personal collection. Under repairs until 2017
  • I visited the David Attenborough Building (formerly ARUP) to document the recent refurb. It is truly a stunning venue and I look forward to returning. Be sure to see the massive living garden wall in the main foyer!
  • Currently closed while they undertake a big refurbishment and extension. The proposals look fantastic, really making the most of the specimens and distinctive architecture. Enjoyed exploring the museum in the past and really looking forward to seeing it reopen.
  • Fascinating
  • Extremely interesting, lots of giant skeletons as well. Recommended!