A museum solely dedicated to education and culture, the Haslemere Educational Museum was established by the surgeon Sir Jonathan Hutchinson in 1888 to house his mounting collection of natural history specimens.
Today, the museum, which is located in Surrey UK, is home to around 240,000 specimens and 140,000 artefacts from different parts of the world featured in the library and main galleries of geology, natural history and human history. Thus, Haslemere has one of the most extensive collections in the world. Having won various awards, the museum is a family-friendly site where you cannot help but learn and have fun.
The Geology Gallery is home to thousands of various rare minerals, fossils, and rocks including showpieces, artwork, and other artifacts from the personal collection of Victorian geologist Sir Archibald Geikie. Learn about where and how different minerals and rocks are formed by walking through the collections of world-renowned scientists from as early as the 19th century.
And as though that is not enough to awaken the geologist in you, you will be amazed by the carefully preserved Jurassic fossils serving as evidence of life diversity from as early as 600 million years ago. But you will surely be most awed by the authentic 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite weighing 47kgs that fell in Iowa, U.S.A. in 1879. It is like getting in touch with a fragment that witnessed the birth of the solar system!
You will be equally impressed by the Victorian-inspired display in the Natural History Gallery featuring the relationship between human beings and animals throughout generations. From extinct and endangered wild plants and other botanical specimens to the wide compendium of items representing families in the Animal Kingdom, you will marvel at the thousands of species of natural life and the distinct roles they play in nature.
The gallery is home to well-preserved birds, mammals, shells, insects, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, and other marine life from collections of respected biologists and botanists all over the world across centuries including a rare stuffed Siberian bear and giant Japanese spider crab. The collection of bones of different animals and how they are closely related to the human skeletal system is especially extraordinary.
The Human History Gallery is also remarkable with its rich compilation of objects featuring the history of human life from the fields of archaeology, ethnography, art, and social history. Travel back in time as you walk through wide display of survival tools used by the Early Man from as far back as 500,000 B.C. to the art and pottery in Ancient Greece and Rome until the innovations and developments in modern times. You will be especially stunned by the 2,300-year-old Egyptian mummy.
You will also get a glimpse of medieval life and brilliance of craftsmanship around the globe through the thousands of art pieces, textiles, beadwork, weapons, and other implements and their significance to culture. The different stories behind these artefacts from successes and festivities to wars and murder will surely leave you with a deeper understanding of the dynamics between the society and man.
All these and so much more await you at the Haslemere Educational Museum. Located in High Street, it is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 5pm. The museum implements an “admission by donation” policy, with no fixed amount required. End the tour with a refreshing walk at the museum’s garden covering 1,000 square meters. Surrounding the pond, observation beehive, and gazebo are hundreds of varieties of wild plants you may not have seen before. For sure, this will be one of the most unforgettable tours you will ever have!