Natural History Museum at Tring wins £76,000 grant

31 January 2014

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Wolfson Foundation award the Natural History Museum at Tring part of £4.6 million improvement fund.

Rothschild legacy lives on

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has today announced the projects that will benefit from the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund.

The Natural History Museum at Tring will be given £75,960 to create a permanent display of zoological specimens relating to the history of the Museum. 

Curator Paul Kitching confirmed that the display, to be housed in the Museum's Rothschild Room, will include insect and bird specimens as well as archive images recounting the Museum's history. 

The Rothschild Room is set out as a Victorian office, to resemble that used by the Museum's original curators and Lord Rothschild.

Unusual pets

The room also contains some of the cassowaries, Australian flightless birds, kept at Tring Park by Lord Rothschild. Cassowaries are listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most dangerous birds.

Walter Rothschild, who became a renowned zoologist and collector, was fascinated by flightless birds and marsupials. He built a home at Tring for his expanding collection of mounted specimens, which later became the public museum. 

Lord Rothschild is perhaps best known for driving a team of zebras onto the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

Other projects receiving DCMS/Wolfson funding include:

  • £100,000 to refurbish The King’s State Apartments at Kensington Palace.
  • Improving the visitor experience at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon with funding of £100,000.
  • A grant of £100,000 for the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum in Cornwall to increase gallery space.
  • An award of £120,000 to Beamish, the Living Museum of the North in County Durham to help fund the construction of two accessible replica 1920s buses to transport visitors around their site.

The Wolfson Foundation is a charity, established in 1955, which promotes excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education and the arts and humanities. Funding is based on expert peer review.