35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PP
- Holborn Station (0.2 km)
- Chancery Lane Station (0.3 km)
- Contact us:
020 7869 6560
9 reviews of Hunterian Museum in English
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Located on the first floor of the Royal College of Surgeons is the Hunterain museum – a fascinating, if not somewhat bizarre, collection of human body parts, bones and dead aminals – probably not for the faint hearted as some of the displays are a little gruesome. It makes you realise just how far modern medicine has come, and without the research shown in the specimens on display it may not have got to where it is today.
Entering in the rather austere and beautiful main door of the Royal College of Surgeons, I tried my best to look like I was meant to be there, and asked at the front desk for the Hunterian Museum. The nice fellow handed us three visitors’ badges and directed us through the gate.
John Hunter: collector of anatomical freaks. Recently, the Hunterian was featured on Channel 4′s series “Genius of Britain“, and Lord Professor Robert Winston specifically drew our attention to the 7’7” “Irish Giant” skeleton, which Hunter bought £130.
But this is not all there is the the museum. In a relatively small space, the Hunterian is crammed full of general guides to anatomy (the Evelyn tables were our favourites), anatomical anomalies (such as the Irish Giant), remains ravaged by diseases (bones pocked and worn by syphilis, a skull swollen by hydrocephalus) and plenty of things in formaldehyde. There was also a huge collection of surgical tools (old and new) and videos of various surgeries (some which I was engrossed by, some which I was grossed out by).
The Hunterian Museum is located on the first floor of the RCS (entrance via Lincoln’s Inn Fields). The nearest tube stations are Holborn and Chancery Lane. They are open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm. They do a guided tour every Wednesday at 1pm. And what’s more: it’s completely free!
Incredibly cool museum! If you're into anatomy, biology and medicine you'll find this place very fascinating, although even if you aren't you'll likely love all the specimens they have on display. Definitely not for the faint-hearted as there are some pretty gruesome bits. Almost everything I'd like to say is covered by others so in order to not sound redundant I'd just say it's probably one of the interesting and unique museums in Museum Mile.
One of two really good reasons to visit Lincolns Inn Fields (the other being John Soanes place)
This collection of scientific goodies is truly a sight to behold and will interest anyone with a passing fancy in medical history, animals or dissection!
It is pretty gruesome at times but what a collection of unusual artefacts!
Others here have said plenty about the kind of thing on offer and it is true its a real hidden gem of unusualness
The Hunterian is fascinating, awe-inspiring and truly gruesome. Spread over two floors are medical curiosities, stories about early surgical procedures and countless specimens of animal, bird and fish. Babies, foetuses and human body parts are also categorised and shown in healthy and unhealthy states. The museum is arranged so that even those unfamiliar with surgery – like me! - are able to engage and it is absolutely captivating. Some of the portraits at the bottom of the ground floor describe the lives of “freaks” and along with the “Irish Giant” who’s 8ft body, on display, was snatched by Hunter against his dying wish cause you to pause for thought, but despite it being a little hard to stomach at times, it really makes your heart race and your mind whirr!
The Hunterian Museum is an absolutely brilliant collection of 1000s of specimans - ranging from whole animal fetuses to organs with tumors, insects, birds, dissected brains, etcetc. It fascinating for both the scientist and the layman. There are examples of what a hernia looks like, cancer, genetic mutations, heart disease, tuberculosis - you name it. Arranged as a sort-of tribute to medical history (there are exhibits about plastic surgery in the 1800s and surgical instruments from the past), most of the specimans were collected over 100-200 years ago, making the collection even more remarkable. It’s a brilliant place for kids, adults, tourists and locals. I can’t believe I’d never been before now! Set out over two floors and with thousands of jars, bones, skeletons and signs to look at, the Hunterian Museum provides both an educational and entertaining afternoon.
Wandering round the vast public space that is Lincoln’s Inn fields, you would not suspect that this place exists. John Hunter was one of those mad guys who just decide off their own bats to change the way things are done, and basically created modern medicine and biology with his comprehensive dissections and compulsive collecting.
This collection has to be seen to be believed, and should appeal to all the goth kids out there. There are dead people, dead babies, brains, skulls, heads, jaws, teeth eyes, every animal you’ve ever heard of cut into pieces, baby animals, foetuses, all pleasantly pickled in lethal solutions that would probably kill you if you so much as sniffed them.
I don’t think this is going to appeal to everyone, but if you’ve ever wondered through a freak show at a waxworks, or you like gruesome horror movies, or you’re thinking of becoming a serial killer, and you don’t quite know what to expect, then this is for you.
Absolutely not for the faint hearted, this museum is part of the Royal College of Surgeons and reveals a grisly past of body-snatching and slicing. Initially I found the collection of dissected creatures fascinating. But when I saw the series of reptiles killed as they were hatching from their eggs, showing each stage with a dead baby reptile, I got a bit upset. The skeleton of a man with gigantism accompanied by the story of how his body was taken for exhibit against his dying wishes was a bit much. Then I saw something so horrific and upsetting that I started shaking and had to sit in the recovery position in shock for some time.
People who liked Bodyworks might be able to cope. However, there are dead babies and bits of children in here, so it can be very distressing. Admission is free and there are talks and tours too.
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