Natural History Museum

Since opening in 1926, Wollaton Hall has been home to the city's Natural History Museum. With a collection of 750,000 objects, ranging from fossils, minerals, plants and eggs to invertebrates, vertebrates, shells (molluscs) and taxidermy, as well as 'spirit' preserved animals and rare specimens from across the globe, Wollaton Hall is the largest dedicated Natural History museum in the county.

‘Natural Connections’ Gallery

Explore the relationship between the natural world and humans with rare and extinct animal specimens including a flightless parrot from New Zealand, duck billed platypus, giant anteater and maned sloth, plus an orangutan skeleton, hippo skull and Humboldt penguin.

For all things Natural History, follow George the Gorilla: @george_gorilla


Recreated in the style of a 1930s museum, the gallery contains birds and game heads, alongside contemporary specimens. Many collected in Ethiopia and Sudan by nineteenth century explorer Mansfield Parkyns with two specimens of the Shoebill brought to Europe in 1850.


Butterflies, moths, beetles and bugs from around the world. Focusing on the biology and lifecycle of insects, see a Caribbean ‘Cloud Forest’ diorama with the birds and mammals dependant on termite colonies for food and nest sites. Live insects - including stick insects from Borneo and a colony of Madagascan hissing cockroaches – available to pet.


With over 5,000 specimens - including those from the Nottingham Naturalists’ Society collection and classic minerals from the North of England plus Cornwall and Devon - get close to giant ammonites and fossilised shells of ancient squid-like creatures.


See George – the Wollaton Hall Gorilla – plus giraffe and cheetah at the 'walk-through' waterhole complete with zebra, leopard, hyena, antelope, warthog and ostrich. Interactive panels allows visitors to hear sounds made by the animals.


A collection of preserved plants is a 'herbarium'. Nottingham Natural History Museum contains 100,000 pressed plants and flowers from across the globe, as well as seeds and other botanical samples.

Spirit collection

Organisms preserved in jars of fluid or ‘spirit’ for soft-bodied animals that cannot be dried or undergo taxidermy. The spirit collection at the Nottingham Natural History Museum contains 1000 glass jars of preserved organisms from around Europe.

Geological collections

The geological collection of the Nottingham Natural History Museum contains 47,000 rocks, minerals and fossils. The fossils originate predominantly from Britain, while the rocks and minerals from across the world.