The view from outside

For Alfred Waterhouse, the surrounding landscape of the Museum was just as important as the building itself. A fantastic array of gargoyles and statues guard the façade of the Museum and Waterhouse designed everything from the sweeping driveway and gate posts to the Plane trees that line Cromwell Road today.

  • The Natural History Museum from Cromwell Road, c. 1880
    Early visitors

    So what did the Victorians think of the museum when the doors first opened on Easter Monday 1881? Did they think the 22 years of planning paid off?

  • Statues, gargoyles and reliefs
    Statues, gargoyles and reliefs

    See how the images you can see on the façade today match Waterhouse’s original sketches