Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences

Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
University of Cambridge
Department of Earth Sciences
Downing Street


Web site for the musuem


General email address


General enquiries

01223 333456


01223 333450

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Entrance to the Sedgwick Museum
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The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences is the oldest of the University of Cambridge museums, having been established in 1728 as the Woodwardian Museum. Since then the collection has grown from about 10,000 fossils, minerals and rocks, to at least 2 million. A walk through the museum will take you on a 4.5 billion year journey through time, from the meteoritic building blocks of planets, to the thousands of fossils of animals and plants that illustrate the evolution of life in the oceans, on land and in the air. Also a major teaching and research resource in the Department of Earth Sciences, the Sedgwick Museum collections are a national treasure.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Mon to Fri 10:00-13:00 & 14:00-17:00
Sat 10.00-16.00

Closed: Christmas & Easter Period. Exact closure dates are listed on our website.

Admission charges

Free admission

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

With a collection of more than 1.3 million specimens, this museum has grown from the 1728 bequest of the collection of Dr John Woodward. One of the earliest and most complete geological collections and housed in its original 17th century cabinets, this remains a highlight of the museum. The museum now holds highly significant palaeontological, petrological and mineral material, much of it collected under the aegis of Professor Adam Sedgwick, who was elected Woodwardian Chair of Geology in 1808. His own work, and his close links with major scientists and fossil collectors of his time- including Charles Darwin and Mary Anning contributed enormously to the development of the museum.

Collections comprise more than 1.5 million specimens of fossils, rocks and minerals. Displays in the galleries show fossils from Cambridgeshire, dinosaurs, marine reptiles from the Jurassic, and fossils from millions of years of Earth history. A mineral gallery displays colourful specimens from around the world. Specimens not on display in the gallery (for example, rocks collected by Charles Darwin during the Voyage of the Beagle) are available for viewing - please call to arrange.

Collection details

Natural Sciences

Key artists and exhibits

  • fossils, dinosaurs, rocks, minerals, Sedgwick's collections, Darwin Collection, Harker Collection, local geology.
  • Designated Collection
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Exploring the Wenlock Reef

This is a new online learning resource based on the Sedgwick Museum's collection of fossils from the 400 million year old Wenlock coral reef. The website includes lots of information about one of the famous fossil collections in the Museum, including a searchable museum catalogue and high quality pictures of many of the fossils. There is also a wealth of information about the creatures and the time and place in which they lived, with a focus on how earth scientists use detective work to collect and interpret evidence to piece these stories together.

Teachers Pack

Everything you need to plan a group visit to the Sedgwick Museum


  • Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences.

How to obtain

Click the link to download the PDF.