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Hunterian Museum

  • Museums
  • Holborn
  • price 0 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Hunterian Museum, 2023
Photo: Hufton and Crow

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The Hunterian Museum houses one of the oldest collections of anatomical, pathological and zoological specimens in the UK and is based on the items assembled by John Hunter, surgeon and anatomist (1728-1793). The collection comprises more than 3,500 anatomical and pathological preparations, fossils, paintings and drawings and also includes specimens donated by Edward Jenner and Sir Joseph Banks. Exhibits at the Hunterian Museum include a collection of surgical instruments dating from the seventeenth century, carbolic sprays used by Lister, the pioneer of antiseptic surgery, the tooth of a megatherium (an extinct giant sloth) donated by Charles Darwin – and Winston Churchill’s dentures.

The museum reopened in May 2023 following a six-year, £4.6m redevelopment that has rethought and modernised the layout for the 2,000 medical items, anatomical specimens and general oddities on display at a given time.

It had received considerable criticism in recent years for displaying the skeleton of the 7ft 7in tall ‘Irish giant’ Charles Byrne – it is no longer on display, though it has been retained by the museum for research purposes.

Read about our favourite exhibits in the Hunterian Museum


Royal College of Surgeons
35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields
View Website
Tube: Holborn
Opening hours:
Tue-Sat 10am-5pm (closed Mon and Sun)
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