This coloured postcard of the Natural Museums dated 1905 shows the museum in all its glory. It is one of the most notable and instantly recognisable buildings in London. Designed by Sir Alfred Waterhouse it opened to the public in 1881. The key features are the terracotta walls, the carved animals and plants that decorate every corner inside and out, the magnificent entrance and of course the vast Central Hall.
For some years a suitable location for Sir Hans Sloane's collection had been sought. As the natural collections grew there was insufficient space at the British Museum to store and display them. Sir Richard Owen was the main force behind the move. He had many new ideas for displays and was eager to have the space to carry out his plans. In 1865 a suitable site was found on the 1851 Commissioner's Estate. But what had occupied this awkward rectangular 23-acre site previously?
Copyright: C. Starren
Location of original: VM CD
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