Best in Show: Famous dogs back on display at Natural History Museum at Tring

Press release - 06 February 2009

Redesigned Gallery 6 at the Natural History Museum at Tring officially re-opened on 6 February

Eight months and 837 cleaned specimens later, Gallery 6 at the Natural History Museum at Tring will be officially opened on 6 February.

The gallery, which contains reptiles, amphibians, flightless birds, mammals and the UK’s largest collection of domestic dogs, has undergone a significant renovation that started in June last year. The lighting, colour scheme and signage have all been updated to bring to life information about the amazing collection of specimens and all the animals in the gallery have been painstakingly cleaned by expert Museum staff.

The changes in the gallery will mean visitors can:

  • discover all about Walter Rothschild in a new section of the gallery that focusses on his work and legacy
  •  find out how taxidermists prepare an animal for display
  • marvel at marsupials, gaze at giant tortoises and come eye-to-eye with a komodo dragon as new lighting highlights significant animals in the gallery
  • learn why dogs look so different but are all the same species, or why ostriches don’t really bury their heads in the sand, with new labels and information

The DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund awarded the Museum an £87,000 grant for the works in August 2007.

Culture Minister, Barbara Follett, said ‘Gallery 6 is a great example of some of the more weird and wonderful treasures we have on display in our museums. It is marvellous to see such emphasis being placed on imaginative and informative displays, and this can only bring more visitors through the doors.’

Paul Kitching, Museum Manager of the Natural History Museum at Tring, said ‘In Gallery 6, we’ve tried to retain the historical look and feel of Walter Rothschild’s important displays, while making sure the information about each of the animals is as up-to-date and as scientifically accurate as possible. We hope visitors to the gallery will enjoy the new displays and find Walter’s collection both fascinating and inspiring.’

Visitor information

Address: The Natural History Museum at Tring, The Walter Rothschild Building, Akeman Street, Tring, Herts HP23 6AP
Dates: from 6 Feburary 2009
Admission: Free
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00–17.00, Sunday 14.00–17.00
Access: Step-free access is limited to Gallery 1, Gallery 2 the temporary exhibition gallery, the shop and the Zebra Café. A virtual touch screen tour of the upper galleries of the Museum is available in Gallery 2.
Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 6171
Website: www.nhm.ac.uk/tring

Ends

Notes for editors

  • The Natural History Museum at Tring, in Hertfordshire, opened in the late 1800s to house the collections of Lionel Walter, second Baron Rothschild and offers outstanding examples of nineteenth-century taxidermy at its very best. The Museum was bequeathed to the nation and became part of the Natural History Museum in 1938. The public galleries were modernised, but the fascinating character of the Museum has been retained
  • More than 130,000 visitors a year enjoy a glimpse into the fascinating world of a Victorian collector, where they can see a huge variety of wild, weird and wonderful specimens from across the animal kingdom – from armadillos to zebras.
  • The site at Tring also houses both the stunning Rothschild library and the Natural History Museum’s ornithological collection, which is open to researchers and has been based there since the early 1970s.
  • The DCMS/Wolfson Foundation Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund allocates £4 million annually to capital projects in national and regional museums and galleries.
  • This is the seventh year of the current DCMS/Wolfson Foundation Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund, which has awarded a total of £20 million to institutions around the country since it was set up in 2002.

For more information about the Natural History Museum at Tring, please contact:
Jane Lucas
Natural History Museum Press Office
Tel: 020 7942 5189, email: press@nhm.ac.uk
(Not for publication)