The Roman Bath have long been on my list of ‘things I have to go and see’ – it’s a formidable list. But I’ve been staring longingly at glossy magazine style images of the green-turquoise waters for too long so I took the plunge (no I didn’t fall in).
Down a side street in Bath is a terraced house, which looks pretty plain and much like the other houses in its row. But it’s a bit more special because it was in this house that William Herschel and his sister lived and in 1781 from the garden of this house, he discovered the planet Uranus.
Have you ever seen a jar of moles or a penis worm? What about some dodo bones, or the almost complete skeleton of a quagga? Well thanks to the Grant Museum I can tick those visions that have been missing from my life off the never ending list of bizarre and wonderful things to see at a museum.
*Broad sweeping statement* . . . Robots creep me out a little bit. I find mechanisms fascinating, but there is something about the desire to make a machine look human that I find quite bizarre. So I headed off to face my fear (or at least try to understand why there seems to be a desire for humanoid machines) at the Science Museums blockbuster ‘Robots’ exhibition, which sets out to tell a 500-year story of mechanical humans and our desire to re-create ourselves as machines.
The newly opened Jafar Gallery has nothing to do with Disney’s Aladdin, but it is full of an exotic collection of antiquities. The core of the collection consists of items gathered by an old Etonian Major William Joseph Myers, who bequeathed them to the Headmaster of Eton College upon his death at the end of the 19th century. It also includes gifts from the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Carnarvon of Tutankhamun fame and as well as items from archaeologist Leonard Woolley’s Al-Mina excavations.
Up what feels like a contender for the narrowest flight of spiral stairs in London, you’ll find the wonderful world of the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret. Located in the loft of the 300 year old St Thomas’ church is the oldest surviving operating theatre in Europe, dating back to 1822.
Whether or not museums should have and display human remains is a much debated topic and a very interesting one. It’s also one that’s close to my heart having completed a dissertation as part of my Masters in Museum Studies entitled ‘What frameworks do different repositories in Northern Ireland follow in relation to the care of human remains’.
Now my Latin is not up to scratch, so if I read ‘Opus Anglicanum’ without the tag line that follows it I would have had to look up what this exhibition was about. However, this title hopefully entices curiosity rather than causing complete brain shutdown because the objects on display in this temporary exhibition are sublime.
Who doesn’t love a good map? They offer us a way to physically see where we are and what the world around us looks like, they can be pocket portals presenting space and they get us from A – B. This exhibition at the British Library not only supports a lovely for cartography but presents the variation within the map world in the 20th century.
If your curiosity is incurable you’ve hit the jackpot with the Wellcome Collection. With two permanent collections, Medicine Man and Medicine Now, as well as a fabulous Reading Room and an excellent programme of temporary exhibitions, you can lose hours in this place.