Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History

Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History
Bute Medical Building
School of Biology
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 9TS




01334 461660

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The Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History was founded, and most specimens acquired, during the heyday of the Victorian age, when collecting was all the rage. Most towns and cities had a museum similar to this one, with many specimens displayed in a relatively small space. Although this Museum has been altered and updated on occasion, it retains its original feel - the entire museum, with its original cases, and superb mosaic floor, is a valuable survivor from a bygone age.

The core purpose of today’s museum is to allow the evolutionary and taxonomic relationships between the animals to be clearly understood in the light of the characteristics defining each phylum. We aim to explain this to different groups of visitors ranging from primary schools to Zoology undergraduates. Other themes include biodiversity, the history of biology at St. Andrews and the interaction between art and science.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

The Museum is open Tuesday and Friday afternoons throughout July and August and to school groups by prior appointment.

Admission charges

Admission is free.

Collection details

Natural Sciences

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Nature Detectives

  • 7 March 2015 1-3pm
  • 4 April 2015 1-3pm
  • 2 May 2015 1-3pm
  • 6 June 2015 1-3pm

Can you tell what creatures are inside the jars at the Bell Pettigrew Museum? Invent your own animal, insect, or organism in modelling clay and preserve in a jar for all to see. Free, but booking essential.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Bell Pettigrew Museum Open Day

  • 14 March 2015 12-4pm

Come and explore our fabulous zoology collection at the Bell Pettigrew Museum, open on a Saturday especially for Science Week! Free, drop-in, no booking required.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Zoolab: Amazing Eaters!

  • 21 March 2015 10-11am, 11:15am-12:15pm

How have animals adapted to find and eat their food? Why are food chains so important? Find out by coming to the Bell Pettigrew Museum where you can handle some fantastic beasts with the ZooLab team! Free, but booking essential.

Suitable for

  • Any age