Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History

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Bute Medical Building School of Biology University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 9TS

The Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History was founded, and most specimens acquired, during the heyday of the Victorian age, when collecting was all the rage. Most towns and cities had a museum similar to this one, with many specimens displayed in a relatively small space. Although this Museum has been altered and updated on occasion, it retains its original feel - the entire museum, with its original cases, and superb mosaic floor, is a valuable survivor from a bygone age. The core purpose of today’s museum is to allow the evolutionary and taxonomic relationships between the animals to be clearly understood in the light of the characteristics defining each phylum. We aim to explain this to different groups of visitors ranging from primary schools to Zoology undergraduates. Other themes include biodiversity, the history of biology at St. Andrews and the interaction between art and science.

Further information

Opening Hours:

The Museum is open Tuesday and Friday afternoons throughout July and August and to school groups by prior appointment.


Admission is free.

Upcoming events:

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.

Facilities and services


  • Education facilities available
  • Library with public access
  • Object study facilities available (enquire in advance)
  • Study facilities
  • Wheelchair access to all public areas


  • Adult lectures and courses held
  • Direct teaching services for schools
  • General guide to collections available
  • Loan service
  • Object identification and/or written enquiry service
  • Pre-booking service for groups
  • Primary school education service available
  • Secondary school education service available
  • Teaching/resources available for HE/FE students

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