Scarborough's fascinating Rotunda Museum is one of the oldest purpose-built museums still in use in Britain and houses one of the foremost collections of Jurassic geology on the Yorkshire Coast.
The museum was built in 1829 to a design suggested by William Smith, 'Father of English Geology'. Smith's pioneering work established that geological strata could be identified and correlated using the fossils they contain. The interior boasts a stunning trompe I'oeil ceiling and a gallery, featuring a frieze showing the geology of the local coastline designed by Smith's nephew,John Phillips.
With over 5,500 fossils and 3,000 minerals, the museum is full of fascinating objects, the Rotunda Museum is home to Gristhorpe Man, a unique Bronze Age skeleton. Found near Scarborough buried in a tree trunk, Gristhorpe Man is the best example of a tree burial in the UK. There is also the Speeton Plesiosaur - a fantastic marine reptile from the lower Cretaceous period, found near Filey. Scarborough's Lost Dinosaurs is an exploration of Jurassic Scarborough and its residents. The museum also holds archaeological finds from the important Mesolithic site at Star Carr in Yorkshire, which is generally regarded as the most important Mesolithic site in Britain and arguably one of the finest Mesolithic sites in northern Europe..
Following major investments and a two-year re-fit, the museum now encompasses all the interactive technologies demanded of a modern museum.
The Rotunda is fully wheelchair accessible and has a shop with a wide selection of geology books and crafts for all ages