Style & Then Some

Don’t Be Jelly, Visit the Hunterian Museum for free!

If you loved the ‘Horrible Histories’ books as a child (or adult, I guess?) and you have an afternoon to spare, I suggest you check out the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons.  Not only is John Hunter’s archive of the weird and wonderful absolutely free of charge, it also boasts over 4 centuries worth of artifacts from the world of anatomy.

The Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons John hunter London

While this may not be the best environment if you are exceptionally squeamish or easily freaked out, I promise there is something of interest for everyone.  And if you are a fan of the Channel 4 Bodyshock series, well, you might just find this your own little slice of peculiar Heaven.  Jars and jars of ‘pickled’ remains of everything from baby armadillos right through to cross sections of elephantiasis stricken feet line the glass cabinets over two floors.  This museum, dedicated to the collection initially founded by the surgeon John Hunter, has been added to over the years since the Victorian era, and boasts some fascinating sights such as the cranium of a young Bengali boy with a parasitic twin conjoined to him (see below).  By all accounts the boy died young due to a Cobra bite and his body was taken away against the parents wishes…

The Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons John hunter London

The Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons John hunter London

While the Hunterian Museum may put you off pickled onions for life, I did find myself wondering if John Hunter’s life works were the inspiration behind Damien Hirst’s pickling fetish.  Just make sure you visit Tuesday to Saturday between 10am-5pm, as they don’t open Sundays, Mondays, or public holidays.

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About Helen Coakley

4 comments on “Don’t Be Jelly, Visit the Hunterian Museum for free!

  1. lizzierosejewellery
    September 6, 2012

    We’ve got all the Horrible Histories books! This place looks great, I sometimes miss living in England …. Thanks for sharing, it’s something we can do on our trip home one day! Cath

  2. kellylovesit
    September 6, 2012

    This is one of my favourite places in London, you definitely need stomache though! X

  3. Helen Coakley
    September 6, 2012

    Thanks Cath! Yes you definitely should! Im glad I’m not the only Horrible Histories fan 😉

  4. sophiecha
    September 9, 2012

    This is already on my to-do list, sounds great. Is there information on the stuff exhibited?

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