Rothschild Room

Set out like a Victorian office, the Rothschild Room recreates the surroundings the Museum's original curators, and Lord Rothschild himself, may have worked in. A brief biography of curators Ernst Hartert and Karl Jordan, a portrait of Lord Rothschild and a family tree complete the picture.

The room also contains some of the cassowaries that used to roam Tring Park, along with a giant tortoise.

The cassowary are flightless birds from the tropical forests of northern Australia, New Guinea and surrounding islands. They were bred in the park along with many emu. The cassowary has been listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most dangerous bird, and is believed to be capable of disembowelling a person with a kick.

Walter Rothschild was fascinated by flightless birds and he even took a flock of 30 kiwis with him when he went to Cambridge as a student. Walter was also the first to point out that cassowaries varied in the different islands on which they are found.

The giant tortoise in this room was brought from the Galapagos Islands in 1812, and was presented alive to Walter Rothschild in 1915. The animal died in March 1917.

You can also discover more about Walter Rothschild in a section of the redesigned Gallery 6

Watch a short film about Walter Rothschild