‘Packed full of treasures and wonders, the Bell Pettigrew is a spectacular reminder of how important a museum can be in the study of the natural sciences.’
Sir David Attenborough

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.

Today the museum is used by undergraduate students for quiet study, lectures, visiting school parties and societies and as a venue for events.