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Lapworth Museum of Geology

Neighborhood: Edgbaston
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Address: Aston Webb Building | Birmingham University, Birmingham B15 2TT, England
Phone Number: +44 121 414 7294

The Lapworth Museum of Geology holds the finest and most extensive...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Lots to see

Visited in the school holidays with my two sons aged 12 and 8. A lovely museum with lots to see and well set out. My 12 year old loved it and has asked to go back. Not so much my... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Carol F
via mobile
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11 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 11: English reviews
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Visited in the school holidays with my two sons aged 12 and 8. A lovely museum with lots to see and well set out. My 12 year old loved it and has asked to go back. Not so much my 8 year old but that's based on interests not age. Small cafe where you can buy drinks, sandwiches and snacks... More 

Thank Carol F
Management response:

Hi Carol, Thanks for your lovely review. We hope to see you and your family again soon at the Museum. Many thanks, Museum Team More 

Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
131 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Lots to see, including local finds e.g. fossil beetles from Upton Warren in Worcestershire. The Allosaurus is well placed to greet visitors. Don't miss upstairs and the fluorescent minerals.

Thank Howarth S
Management response:

Hi Howarth, Thanks for the lovely review. We are glad you enjoyed your recent visit. Little known fact about our Allosaurus fragilis in the main entrance - It has a number of injuries to the right hand side of its body, which have led scientists to believe it was attacked by another Dinosaur. These injuries have begun to heal but... More 

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Please do not bring your children here, there is nothing for them, no Lego, no interactive displays, no opportunities to use their imagination. What there is are facts, well researched science and one hell of a good museum. First class.

2 Thank Wali T
Management response:

Hi Wali, Many thanks for the review, it nice to hear that you enjoyed your visit. We have recently appointed a Learning and Community Development Officer who has developed a number of collection related activities which are now being run from our Education Room. Please feel free to visit us again and have a go at mask making, colouring in,... More 

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
308 reviews
134 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2016

On Tuesday 19th July 16, I went out with my friend Christopher Edwards to visit ‘The Lapworth Museum’ in the Aston Webb building based at Birmingham University. The Museum is now open following a £2.7m redevelopment made possible by the Heritage Lottery Fund who gave them a grant of £1.5m and the generous donations from the of University alumni, as... More 

1 Thank Carol B
Management response:

Hi Carol, Many thanks for your lovely review. The staff at the Museum really enjoyed your comments and would love to see you again soon at the Museum. Many thanks, Museum Team More 

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2016 via mobile

I visited with friends today as we had been previously when we worked at the University. It was great to see how the Lapworth has been refurbished so lovingly and a great mix of old and new. Loved the minerals mezzanine! Will definitely be back. Free entry and definitely worth a visit to here, the Barber and Winterbourne as the... More 

Thank nicola063
Management response:

Hi Nicola, Thanks for the lovely review. The Mineral Wealth gallery seems to be fast becoming a favourite for many visitors! We hope to see you again soon at the Museum. Many thanks, Museum Team More 

Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
144 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

A must for all lovers of geology. A huge and increasing range of specimens. My daughter has decided that she now must go to Birmingham University... Easy to find on the university campus which is also worth a look around if you like architecture.

Thank Anita H
Management response:

Hi Anita, Thanks for the review, we are glad you enjoyed you visit to the Museum. We will watch out for your daughter at the University, I'm sure she will go far. Many thanks, Museum Team More 

Birmingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2014

This museum in the heart of University of Birmingham campus based in the Aston Webb building is a little known gem, containing a real treasure trove of fossils, rocks and minerals. The historic museum has lots of its Edwardian charm and is absolutely crammed with things to see. I went to University here and studied geology so was often found... More 

1 Thank Katie H
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

Located inside the Aston Webb Building in the University of Birmingham, the museum is a jewel. It's not that large, but it's really interesting, collecting materials as rocks, stones, fossils and some impressive item as a t-rex head, the horns of a giant extinct wapiti and the fossil of a ichthyosaurus. You will need to spend no more than an... More 

Thank FrancescoFinucci
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
188 reviews
129 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

A marvellous museum run by Birmingham University, the Lapworth Museum of Geology is one of three sites of interest on the Birmingham university main campus and my recommended first stop when coming to the university to see these sites (the other two being the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and Winterbourne House). I recommend this as the first site to... More 

1 Thank H-G-Powell
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

Dinosaur footprints, trilobites, amazing fossil fish and club mosses, crystals, corals.... Visiting the collection reminded me of the thrill I got when first encountering these things as a little girl. Good old fashioned scholarship rather than shallow "interactivity" (although there is one button to press to demonstrate fluorescence in rocks exposed to ultra violet light). Very tranquil atmosphere. Free to... More 

2 Thank Marian H

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