Falmouth, Cornwall

After five years spent circumnavigating the globe the Beagle returned to Falmouth harbour on 2 October 1836.

Epic voyage

HMS Beagle being repaired

HMS Beagle being repaired

During the voyage Darwin experienced extreme hardship and exhilarating discovery. Often having to cope with illness, hunger, tiredness, turbulent weather, natural disasters, and disagreements within the crew, Darwin dedicated his time to studying and collecting thousands of fossils, plants and animals previously unseen by his contemporaries back home.

Cartoon image of lab coats with T.rex name label

Our fossil insect collection includes Rhyniognatha hirsti, the world's oldest fossil insect, dating back some 400 million years.