Booth Museum of Natural History to reopen on July 31

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Photo of mounted coloured butterlies
Butterflies from the Natural Sciences collection


The Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust is thrilled to welcome back our community and visitors to The Booth Museum on Saturday 31 July

We have been busy cleaning and preparing the galleries for re-opening, plus we have a new display that shows some of the recent big (but tiny) dinosaur discoveries in our collections during the lockdown.

For the first time, visitors can see a tiny fossil which has excited scientists after they discovered it had been previously mis-identified and is now believed to indicate a new species of pterosaur from the age of the dinosaurs.

In February 2020 Roy Smith of Portsmouth University visited the Booth Museum geological collections. He spotted several fossils donated by Arthur Griffith in 1912 identified as shark spines, that he thought were more likely to be pterosaur (flying reptile) bones.

Roy discovered that the fossils had nerve holes which do not appear on shark spines, so must be from a group of flying reptiles known as Ornithostoma. He found a fragment of a jawbone of a previously undiscovered flying reptile that was possibly the size of a magpie.

Unfortunately, this fragment is too small to base a new species on. The rocks it was found in have long since been broken up and it is unlikely more of this specimen will ever be found. It remains a tiny tantalising glimpse of life 100 million years ago.

CEO of RPMT Hedley Swain said: “It’s wonderful to have the Booth Museum reopen after such a long time.  This is a fascinating museum which is popular with families and the local community and the final one of our five sites to reopen since the lockdown.

“It’s fascinating to know that the items in the collection, many of which are millions of years old are still relevant to modern experts and improve our knowledge of natural history.”

Admission is free to the museum.

Booth Museum of Natural History

The Booth Museum is all about birds, butterflies, fossils, and bones. Founded as a Victorian collector’s private museum, the Booth Museum, part of Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust, now brings natural history to life with interactive displays and ‘hands on’ activities.

Since the first lockdown, staff at the Booth Museum have been busy caring for the nearly a million objects held in the building. Natural history collections are particularly prone to attack by museum pests, so our staff have rolled out a big conservation project behind our closed doors to check each piece of the taxidermy and treat any showing signs of damage.

Free admission

194 Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 5AA Tel 03000 290900

Open all year

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 1-4pm
Open Bank Holidays
Closed Thursdays & Fridays & 24-26 December

Contact information for press and media

For further information, images or interviews please contact Caroline Sutton on or 07802 542 867.

For urgent enquiries in my absence please contact or 03000 290906.