Restoring the Geology gallery, Biddulph Grange

Thematic Collecting

We recently visited the amazing Geology gallery at Biddulph Grange to chat to Daniel Atherton about its restoration and development.

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Transformations #MMClimateControl

Nothing ever stays the same, things are always changing be it our Museum displays, our cities and towns, or the natural world around us.

The next part of our #MMClimateControl Social Media campaign in the lead up to our Climate Control exhibition is looking at how the world has changed in the past and what changes might look like in the future.

So please help us raise awareness of Climate Change by sharing your pictures and stories of how things have changed over time using #MMClimateControl

Do you remember what Manchester used to be like, or public transport in the 1980S? What were you favorite clothes when you were teenager? What did you think the future would be like when you were a kid?

Harry Braezenor sitting on the Museum's Sperm Whale 1898 and the Whale today

Harry Braezenor sitting on the Museum’s Sperm Whale 1898 and the Whale today

Sperm Whale

Museum collections can give us a fantastic glimpse into the past for everything from Ancient Egypt, to 300million year old fossil plants and the humble Peppered Month. We will be exploring some of these stories in the coming weeks and months, so please join in!



Memories of snow #MMClimateControl

Do you love snow as much as I do? Share the joy with us using #MMClimateControl

I just love the incredible sense of transformation when the first flakes start falling and the world around us looks utterly different!


We are gathering memories of snow as part of the build up to:

Climate Control, A long British summer of exhibitions and events, May – October 2016.

Not only is snow amazing, but it could be a good indicator of how our climate is changing. Do you remember more snow when you were a kid? Were you around in the particularly snowy years of 1947 or 1963? Share your memories with us and get involved!


The program is part of European City of Science, developed with Manchester University’s Tyndall Centre and Manchester: A Certain Future.

Follow #MMClimateControl to get involved

Climate Control, A long British Summer of exhibitions and events #MMClimateControl

We hear about climate change on the news and in the newspapers. How the ice caps are melting and how it is happening now. What can we do about climate change, individually and collectively? Is it too late? Is there any point trying? What do people want to do?

Climate change is happening all around us, but this isn’t the time to ignore it, it’s the time to get really creative. What thoughts or ideas do you have? What do you already do in your day to day life, and what might you think about doing?

Manchester Museum will be staging a series of exhibitions and events for visitors to explore climate change from May-September 2016. There will be opportunities to share your thoughts and ideas, to think about what a different future might look like, and what each of us might want to do to help make that a reality.  Look out for amazing Polar Bears and other Arctic wildlife, Peppered Moths, tropical frogs, opportunities to rebuild a model Manchester and a wide range of events and activities for all ages and interests

The program is part of European City of Science, developed with Manchester University’s Tyndall Centre and Manchester: A Certain Future.

Follow #MMClimateControl to get involved

‘Catch a Shooting Star’ – New Display at the Manchester Museum

Earth & Solar System

20151022_125044 Group member John and visitor Louise enjoying the new ‘Catch a Shooting Star’ touch table display. Image: KJoy

Ever wanted to put your hand on Mars, the Moon or an asteroid and can’t wait for commercial spaceflight to one day fly you there as a space tourist? Well imagine no longer, you can get your hands on amazing rocks from other worlds just by visiting Manchester (it might be a little rainier than the Moon though!).

There is now a great new meteorite touchable display at the Manchester Museum that has been developed by the Catch a Shooting Star team, led by our colleagues at the Open University. The exhibit, which has been funded by a public engagement grant by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, is the first permanent display in the UK where you can handle so many different types of meteorites and impact rocks in one…

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Follow that star/meteorite!

We’ve just installed a fantastic new meteorite handling table and video. The objects include pieces of the Moon and Mars which you can actually touch. Paige Tucker has put together a great video of me talking about the meteroites.

This project has been in partnership with colleagues at the Open University and was funded by an EPSRC public engagement grant.

Shark and Ray fossils


A fantastic collection of Shark, Ray and Chimaeroid teeth have recently been donated to the museum. The fossils are from the Eocene period, 53- 36 million years ago. Most of the fossils were collected from Reculver Bay and Herne Bay in Kent.

Sharks, rays and chimaeroids all belong to the well-established group known as Chondrichthyes or cartilaginous fishes.

These fishes have a skeleton of firm elastic tissue or cartilage rather than bone. Cartilage is flexible and durable yet is half the normal density of bone.



Otodus obliquus 

The existence of sharks extends back in time approximately 400 million years to the upper Devonian period.

The ancestors of modern sharks were the Placoderm group which through evolution had adapted the dermal denticals (scales) for use as primitive teeth.
Sharks have been successful over millions of years due to their ability to adapt to almost any feeding condition. Sharks have multiple rows of teeth which are constantly replaced throughout its lifetime.

Teeth are often the only part of the shark to be preserved so differences in teeth are the most important means of identifying fossil species.



Myliobatis sp.

Rays feed on molluscs and crustaceans; they have tooth plates to crush shells. Although Manta ray, feed on plankton.

Their teeth grow constantly and old or worn teeth are discarded through the mouth or sometimes swallowed and partly digested in the stomach.



Elasmodus hunteri

Chimaeriformes are an order of cartilaginous fishes, informally named rabbit fish; they are cousins of rays and sharks. They feed on molluscs and have six permanent grinding tooth plates to crush their food.
Kemp, D.J. (1977) A brief illustrated account of the English Eocene Shark and Ray fossils. Gosport Museum.


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