Museum & Galleries

Eton Natural History Museum

England / Europe

Eton College Museum entrance to The Natural History Museum was originally financed by subscription from Eton’s Science Masters in 1875. It then became part of the science department, opened by Queen Victoria in 1891 and commemorated by the magnificent archway which forms the entrance to what is known as Queen’s Schools. This still contains the Curator’s Office. However, most of the museum you can see today is an Edwardian annexe added in memory of a boy, Lionel Lawson, who died in a boarding house fire in 1903. He was an avid bird watcher, and his parents gave the College £5,000 in order to house the magnificent collection of British birds bequeathed to the College by George Thackeray (1777-1850). He was an Etonian, then became an assistant master at Eton, and finally was Provost of King’s College, Cambridge. The Museum currently contains over 16,000 specimens including several curiosities such as a two-faced cat, a four-footed duck and a Kakapo, a flightless parrot from New Zealand. It is open to the general public on Sunday afternoons. Many local schools visit the Museum as part of its active
outreach programme. Opposite the Museum are the Montague James Schools, built in 1938 and named after M.R. James (1862-1936), Provost of Eton, and celebrated writer of ghost stories. Adjacent to the Museum is Lower Chapel, consecrated in 1891, where junior boys worship. Opposite the Chapel are the Music Schools (opened in 1886 and extensively enlarged in the 1990s). Look for the holes in the bricks where students have twisted coins and sharpened their pencils in advance of writing their scores. Further down the lane on the right hand side are the Lyttelton & Elliott schoolrooms named after two previous headmasters (Edward Lyttelton, headmaster between 1905-1916 and Claude Elliott, headmaster between 1933-1949).

  • Eton Natural History curator installing the marker

See it on these walks


  • Eton Natural History curator installing the marker
  • Eton Natural History Museum

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Medal Sponsor

A medal was purchased for this point by: Eton Community Association