Lapworth Museum of Geology
Lapworth Museum of Geology
4.5
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The Lapworth Museum of Geology holds the finest and most extensive collections of fossils, minerals and rocks in the Midlands. Dating back to 1880, it is one of the oldest specialist geological museums in the UK. The Museum is now open following a £2.7m redevelopment, made possible thanks to a transformative Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £1.5m and the generous support of University of Birmingham alumni, as well as a number of grant awarding bodies, trusts and foundations. Throughout its long history the Lapworth Museum has provided a valuable resource for students, schools and colleges, research workers, enthusiasts and anyone with an interest in, or desire to learn, about geology. The museum supports teaching and research in the Earth Sciences and natural history within the University and the West Midlands region. The Museum is named after Charles Lapworth, the first Professor of Geology at Mason College, the forerunner of the University of Birmingham. Lapworth was one of the most important and influential geologists in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Located in the University’s Grade II listed, Aston Webb Building, the museum retains its original Edwardian setting and interior. The collections contain in excess of 250,000 specimens. In addition to rocks, fossils and minerals, there are large collections of early geological maps, equipment, models, photographic material, and also zoological specimens and stone axes. The Lapworth Archive contains one of the most complete records of the work of a scientist of that period. The fossil collections are important both scientifically and historically, with exceptionally well-preserved specimens from the Midlands and many other famous fossil localities in the UK, and throughout the world. The museum has some of the finest collections from the Wenlock Limestone of Dudley, famous for its fossils that lived 420 million years ago when the area was covered by a shallow, warm, tropical sea that enabled a highly diverse ecosystem to develop. From the rocks of the old Midlands Coalfields are important collections of fossil plants, fish, insects, arachnids, fossil footprints and animal tracks. There are beautifully preserved fish, dragonflies, crabs, lobsters and pterosaurs from the Solnholfen Limestone in Germany; outstanding fish collections from Brazil, Italy, Lebanon and USA; 510 million year old animals unique to the world famous Burgess Shale of British Columbia. The mineral collection contains around 15,000 specimens, many of them rare, and displaying stunning colours and crystal shapes. The specimens come from all over the world, but particularly from the old mining areas of the UK. Of historical interest is the mineral collection of William Murdoch, engineer and inventor, who worked with James Watt and Matthew Boulton at Soho House in Birmingham. A visit to the Lapworth Museum provides an insight into how the Earth formed and changed through time, and how life on earth developed and evolved.
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4.5
119 reviews
Excellent
92
Very good
26
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Terrible
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Simon M
4 contributions
Oct 2022
This fabulous museum has something for everyone. Sure, the dinosaurs are eye-catching and exciting in their own right, but their collection of other fossils includes some of the best specimens in the world. The Rock Wall is a true work of art, with rocks of all kinds from around the world, and the mineral gallery is not only gorgeous but packs a few surprises. It is also free entry, which means that if you're in the vicinity of the University you can keep going back to see little bits at a time. I've been thrice in a week!
Written October 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

williamsfamilyrules
Market Rasen, UK8 contributions
Feb 2022 • Couples
This a lovely little museum and great place to spend time on a wet afternoon but hard to find. We walked round and round the university campus looking for it and had almost given up when a man who worked for the university who was cycling passed asked us where we we looking for and directed us to the museum.
There is an interesting time line display downstairs with fossils from the earliest plants to dinosaurs and early humans. There are some great videos showing what the landscape and animals would have looked like.

But I think upstairs is better. It is full of the most beautiful rocks, gemstones and crystals. I was amazed at the variety of shapes and colours that occur naturally in rocks. I wanted to take most of them home! Don't miss the UV light display.
Written February 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ama
16 contributions
Oct 2021 • Family
We parked free in the side streets outside of the university ground near this museum and just walked for a couple of minutes into the site. Free worksheets for kids. Even 8 and 4 year old keep themselves occupied. Small enough for you to sit comfortably and watch them without fear of losing them. However packed with so much for them to see and learn. Perfect if you take along a cup of coffee and another friend and let the kids run around with a worksheet from the desk. Just loved the UV mineral display.
Written November 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sarah
Leamington Spa, UK11 contributions
Jan 2023 • Couples
What a find! I had no idea this museum existed until we had the opportunity of doing a "Behind the Scenes" tour. It was well worth the visit - I would definitely recommend. Jon was incredibly engaging and brought the subjects covered to life. We had the opportunity to see some truly unique fossils and learn a little more about the history of Birmingham and the surrounding area. A truly unique and very informative experience.
Written January 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Leslie Nicholas... R
Birmingham, UK60 contributions
Nov 2022 • Couples
We have lived in Birmingham many years and only found out about this fantastic museum on the University campus this week. It has been open 6-7 years. Really was a good way to spend a few hours. We have been to many great museums, Natural history museum London, Harvard Museum Boston and this is a mini gem because it links the geology directly to the West Midlands and places we have visited, e.g Dudley, Cotteridge, Bromsgrove regarding fossils, rocks and geology. We learnt things and all for free.
Written November 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dmunnir
Solihull, UK57 contributions
Jan 2020
This is a fantastic museum. So much information and exhibits and the contents in the drawers which are labelled "open me" contain wonderful diverse items ranging from a poignant letter from a geologist detailing the effects of WW1 on his family to amazing fossils and gems. A range of interactive areas are set up around the museum and a particular favorite was the interaction of ultra violet light on rocks which was fantastic. There are stickers on the floor for "selfies" in front of the exhibits and many item from the West Midlands I will look on Dudley with new eyes! The museum seems small but if you take your time to read the information and have a good look at the exhibition it is very educational and interesting and will take much longer than you realise. Plenty of seating is available and a lift to the upper floor is provided and there is a small reading area for children with a shop at the front of the building. Entry is free but you can make a donation.
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NB1957
674 contributions
Nov 2021
I came across this museum by chance whilst planning a return to the excellent Barber Institute. I was so glad that I did as it really is a fascinating little museum with such an array of well presented exhibits. I didn't know how long I would spend there but I found so much that was of interest I kept going around looking at the exhibits and finding more and more that interested me.
Written November 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

valharris27
Colchester, UK12 contributions
Aug 2022
We stayed at The Edgbaston Park Hotel especially so that we could visit this fantastic geology museum which is a short walk away It is not very large but is over two floors with a children's activity room on the ground floor. There is only one dinosaur there but the exhibits are well displayed and described and upstairs where the minerals are there was an interactive exhibit.
Entry is free.
Written August 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CarolHurley
Wombourne, UK78 contributions
Feb 2020
We took the family at half term on a wet day, 3 generations, and we all really appreciated what was on display. The girls, 9-13, had all studied fossils at some point and are avid collectors so it particularly appealed to them. The items are very well displayed, some are very large and the information was not overwhelming. You have to walk a bit on the university campus to find the museum but it's well worth it. We spent the morning at The Barber Institute looking at art and the afternoon at the Lapworth looking at geological artefacts. Most people have never heard of this place which is a pity. They have special events for families which we will look out for in future.
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

I.Will
Birmingham, UK10 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
Visited today with my partner and had a brilliant time! I can’t believe this is hidden on the university campus. It is quite small but jam packed with so much information and great exhibits! Rory is especially magnificent and we really enjoyed the interactive exhibits. Definitely a great little find, there seemed to be lots of interaction for kids but it was very interesting and plenty for adults as well, 100% would recommend for something a little different!
Written August 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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