History

The remarkable collections in the galleries of the Natural History Museum at Tring were once the private passion of its founder, Lionel Walter, 2nd Baron Rothschild. The Rothschild family gifted the entire Museum and its collections to the nation in 1937. This section celebrates Walter Rothschild as scientist, collector and founder of the Museum.

Walter himself was a remarkable character. As well as collecting many thousands of mounted animals, he kept an astonishing variety of live animals in the grounds around the Museum and in Tring Park. He even used zebras to draw his carriage.

  • Rothschild
    Introducing Walter Rothschild

    From the cassowary to the zebra, Lionel Walter Rothschild collected them all. He was fascinated by animals and dedicated his life to studying zoology.

  • Walter Rothschild
    Biography of Walter Rothschild

    Born into an international financial dynasty, Walter was destined to be famed as a zoologist and collector rather than a banker.

  • History of specimens
    History of the collections

    Walter Rothschild's work was just the beginning. The Museum's bird research collection was moved from London to Tring in the early 1970s and now attracts researchers from around the world.