Posted on February 21, 2008 - by MG
It was that or a 45 min drive to the cutesy Cotswold town of Bourton-On-The-Water to sample the delights of the perfumery, the bottled sweet shop and the rock shop where our little daughter loves to fill a bag of polished stones from the ‘scratch tub’. But the weather! So we stayed in Oxford.
Any excuse to mosey around in the National History Museum of Oxford – full to bursting with children aged 3-8 making dinosaur things under the T-Rex skeleton, hand puppets in the adjacent Pitt Rivers Museum and slightly older kids gazing with wonder at armour and weapons such as Robin’s bow from the TV show and Captain Sparrow’s sword from Pirates of the Caribbean (pictured above).
The National History Museum consists mainly of one large gallery with everything pretty much chucked in together – geology to your right(ish), dinosaurs all over the place, mammals to the left, other creatures wherever they can squeeze in. The Pitt Rivers Museum of Ethnography, behind the Nat History, is a deliciously pokey collection of artefacts and weird stuff from all over the world, collected according to type of object, with the original hand-written labels from yeh-ears ago.
I took the photos above with my BlackBerry. Clockwise from the right: main gallery of the National History Museum; a chuck of iron pyrite; the T-Rex skeleton; spooky figures from the ‘Anthropologists’ Collector Fund’ in the Pitt Rivers; a rotating 3D model of DNA; Jack Sparrow’s sword.
My personal favourites from the top gallery of the Pitt Rivers are the suits of armour made from fish scales, buffalo horn and coconut fibre, a helmet made from a big, spiky shell, and the Japanese Noh Theatre masks.