Pitt Rivers Museum

Pitt Rivers Museum
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 3PP
England

Website

Website

www.prm.ox.ac.uk

E-mail

General enquiries

prm@prm.ox.ac.uk

Telephone

Recorded general information, group bookings and option to speak our Receptionist

01865 270927

Fax

General fax number

01865 270943

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.
venue representative image
baby changing facilities icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

The Pitt Rivers Museum is the University of Oxford's museum of anthropology and world archaeology. Founded in 1884 following a gift to the University from General Pitt-Rivers it retains its unique period atmosphere with dense displays of artefacts, many in the original wooden display cabinets. As a result, it has often been described as a 'Museum of Museums'.

The new extension and restored entrance which provide better provisions for the public, students and staff is now complete.

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

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

10.00-16.30 Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays;
12.00-16.30 Monday.
Please check for details of Christmas and Easter opening.

Admission charges

Admission Free

Getting there

The entrance to the Pitt Rivers Museum is through the Oxford University Museum Natural History (OUMNH) on Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW. The Pitt Rivers' entrance is at the far wall of the OUMNH. The OUMNH is closed during 2013 but access to the Pitt Rivers remains as usual.

Parking: The Museum unfortunately cannot offer parking facilities. Vehicles parking in the University's Science Area without a permit are liable to be wheel-clamped. We suggest that you look for parking in either the side streets around the Museum or at the multi-storey car park. We can offer disabled parking, please call 01865 270927 to book a space.

By bus: There are also five Park and Ride car parks (situated on the A40 at Headington; Red Bridge at the bottom of the Abingdon Road, near Kennington; Pear Tree Roundabout, Woodstock Road; Water Eaton, Banbury Road, Kidlington and Seacourt at Botley). The coach park is on Oxpens Road. The walk from the coach park and the multi-storey car parks to the Museum is about half an hour.

By train: Oxford train station is approximately a 20 minute level walk to the Museum.

By cycle: There are bicycle racks outside the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Additional info

Induction loop available in museum shop.
Please pre-book disabled parking spaces.

The entire collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The Pitt Rivers Museum takes the world for its province, with collections of artefacts that date from earliest times to the present day and extensive photographic and archival collections. The museum is a resource of international importance for the study of human cultures and their history. Its collections span all parts of the world from prehistory to the present day and celebrate the range of human creativity and technological ingenuity.

The collections are arranged typologically with material organised not by origin or date but by function to show how, at different times and in different parts of the world, people solved a wide range of everyday problems. Every aspect of human life is presented in displays of basketry, body adornment, magic, masks, medicine, music making, navigation and textiles, among dozens of other themes. These are complemented by a number of culture-specific displays, such as that devoted to material from the South Seas collected on Captain Cook's Second famous Voyage of Discovery.

Collection details

World Cultures, Weapons and War, Toys and Hobbies, Religion, Photography, Music, Costume and Textiles, Archaeology, Agriculture

Key artists and exhibits

  • The museum's displays contain an almost overwhelming variety of material from masks to magic, mummies to musical instruments. Highlights include a 40ft Totem pole, a witch in a bottle and a temporary exhibition of photographs taken in Iraq, by the renound traveller Wilfred Thesiger.
  • Designated Collection
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.
Textile depicting reindeer

Trail: 12 Days of Christmas

  • 20 December 2014 — 4 January 2015

On the first day of Christmas the Museums gave to me... a very exciting trail!

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free trail available during Museum opening hours. Please check the website for Christmas opening hours. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Tibetan brass charm case containing paper with inscription

Pitt Stop: It's a Kind of Magic

  • 3 January 2015 1-4pm

Discover amulets from around the world. Then create your own good luck charms!

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free drop-in session. Suitable for children aged 5+ but all ages welcome. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Feather headdress

Under 5 event: Feathered Friends

  • 8 January 2015 10:30am-4pm

Make a feathered crown and have feathery fun in the Museum! Special event for under 5s.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6

Admission

Two free drop-in sessions: 10.30-12.30 & 14.00-16.00. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

War jacket of barkcloth covered with fish scales attached with fine rattan

Saturday Spotlight: Animal Skin Shields and Armour

  • 17 January 2015 2:30-3:30pm

Defensive weaponry doesn't have to be made of metal. Throughout history and in different parts of the world, man has been inspired by protective models found in nature. This illustrated talk looks at examples of shields and armour in the Pitt Rivers collections - from leather lamellar armour used by samurai warriors and the crocodile cult of eastern Africa, to a fish-scale war jacket from Borneo and the iconic porcupine fish helmet from the Pacific. As accessories and garments combining functionality with fashion, such items demonstrate the skill of the armoured, not just as a technician but as a craftsman and artist.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free entry. Suitable for adults and older children

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/spotlights.html

General Pitt-Rivers and Henry Acland

Welcome to My Museum: A Dramatic Introduction to Two Museums Under One Sublime Roof

  • 17 January 2015 10:30am-3:30pm

What's the story behind the Pitt Rivers Museum and Oxford University Museum of Natural History? In this short theatre performance suitable for all ages, enjoy an imaginary and tempestuous meeting between the Victorian founders of the two museums - aristocrat General Pitt-Rivers and physician Henry Acland; two men with similar ideas about widening education but with very different personalities and passions! Play written by Rachel Barnett.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free performances at 10.30, 12.00, 14.00 & 15.30. Taking place in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Medieval leather stitching technique

Medieval Leather Stitching Workshop

  • 17 January 2015 10am-4pm

An exclusive one day introduction to the manufacture of medieval turn shoes. Learn how to make your own authentic threads from linen fibres and boar bristles. Discover the necessary stitching techniques that dominated shoe manufacture for centuries and make your own leather pouch from authentic tanned leather.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£25 (Includes all tuition and materials). Booking essential - limited spaces available. Please see our website for booking details.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/talks.html

Model boat

Pitt Stop: World Explorers

  • 7 February 2015 1-4pm

Go on a journey of discovery with intrepid travellers and create your own explorer hat!

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free drop-in session. Suitable for children aged 5+ but all ages welcome. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Yellow and orange Javanese dance scarves

Under 5 event: Dance to the Ditty

  • 12 February 2015 10:30am-4pm

Grab a Javanese dance scarf and get dancing at this special event for under 5s.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6

Admission

Two free drop-in sessions: 10.30-12.30 & 14.00-16.00. Suitable for under 5s. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Home sweet home image

February Half-Term Activities: Home Sweet Habitat

  • 16 — 18 February 2015

Explore how animals and humans make themselves at home and build your own little den. Crafts, object handling and a family friendly talk at 3pm.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Free drop-in sessions: 13.00-16.00 Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Leather saddle

Pitt Stop: Giddy Up

  • 7 March 2015 1-4pm

Saddle up and learn all about leatherwork in the museum.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Free drop in session. Suitable for children aged 5+. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Asian brass trumpet

Under 5 event: Singing Around the World

  • 12 March 2015 10:30am-4pm

Learn catchy traditional tunes from around the world and make a noisy instrument to practice them at home! Especially for under 5s.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6

Admission

Two free drop-in sessions: 10.30-12.30 & 14.00-16.00. Suitable for under 5s. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/events.html

Wow!How? logo

Wow!How?

  • 14 March 2015 10am-4pm

Make, test, explore and explode with excitement at our annual bonanza of experiments and hands-on fun.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free entry. Suitable for all ages. Please ensure that all children are accompanied by an adult.

Getting there

The entrance to the Pitt Rivers Museum is through the Oxford University Museum Natural History (OUMNH) on Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW. The Pitt Rivers' entrance is at the far wall of the OUMNH. The OUMNH is closed during 2013 but access to the Pitt Rivers remains as usual.

Parking: The Museum unfortunately cannot offer parking facilities. Vehicles parking in the University's Science Area without a permit are liable to be wheel-clamped. We suggest that you look for parking in either the side streets around the Museum or at the multi-storey car park. We can offer disabled parking, please call 01865 270927 to book a space.

By bus: There are also five Park and Ride car parks (situated on the A40 at Headington; Red Bridge at the bottom of the Abingdon Road, near Kennington; Pear Tree Roundabout, Woodstock Road; Water Eaton, Banbury Road, Kidlington and Seacourt at Botley). The coach park is on Oxpens Road. The walk from the coach park and the multi-storey car parks to the Museum is about half an hour.

By train: Oxford train station is approximately a 20 minute level walk to the Museum.

By cycle: There are bicycle racks outside the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

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