Natural History

The Natural History collections held at Colchester focus on Britain and on north-east Essex in particular.

We have collections of preserved insects, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. We also have collections of plant material, animal bones, fossils, rocks and minerals. Visitors can make an appointment to these collections.

Ipswich Museum has a historic connection to science and the natural world. Its founding purpose was to ‘promote the study and extend the knowledge, of natural history in all its branches’.

The museum was devoted to collecting and preserving all natural history specimens from rocks and minerals to plants, animals and insects. Even the museum building is adorned with fossils and fruits carved into the building stones.

Visit Ipswich Museum to see the Victorian Natural History Gallery, Suffolk Wildlife Gallery, Geology Gallery and Mammal Gallery.

The Natural History collections in Colchester are housed in the Museum Resource Centre and the Natural History Museum stores.

The collections are available to view by visitors by appointment.


Natural History Collections

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Covering thousands of years of history, a visit to one of our museums or art galleries will take you on a fascinating journey through time.

We offer a range of services to the public. From a free identification service to the portable antiquities scheme, we have skills to help you.

The Training Museum is an exciting workforce transformation programme for Colchester + Ipswich Museums, generously supported by Arts Council England.

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