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Welcome to Cumberland House - The Natural History Museum

Entrance to Cumberland House Natural History Museum is FREE!

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Find out more about our new exhibition 'An A to Z of natural history'!

Portsmouth is a very special place for wildlife in Britain. It has many different habitats in a very small area, and at Portsmouth Natural History Museum you can explore them all.

The museum tells the story of the wild things of the riverbank, marshes, woods and urban areas of Portsmouth. Have a look for the heron stalking its prey and the Brent geese coming into land after their 3000 km flight from the arctic. You can also learn about Portsmouth's geology and take a look at some specimens from ancient times. The displays are designed to allow visitors a view of the natural world as they could never see it in real life - up close and in depth.

Portsmouth Natural History Museum also houses a butterfly house, and the butterflies fly from May to September.

Information for Schools

There is plenty to do on your visit to Cumberland House and lots of links to National Curriculum topics.

Discover the habitats of Portsmouth. See butterflies from May to September and look out for other live specimens. See how artists are inspired by nature. Touch some fossils. Examine the teeth of predators and prey. It can link to topics like plants and animals, classification, adaptation, life cycles, earth, sun and moon. Key Stage 1 children especially enjoy seeing Emily the dinosaur!

Wonder Boxes - the new-look loans collection from Portsmouth Museums

The first phase of our review of the Museum Loans Collection is complete and the first batch loan items, rebranded as Wonder Boxes, are available for use.

Our fabulous loans boxes are the perfect stimulus for creative work across the curriculum, including science, art & design, literacy and history.  Bring a little awe and wonder into your classroom with bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile specimens or skulls and skeletons.  Or bring the past to life with high quality model dinosaurs and original and replica artefacts illustrating life in Ancient Egypt.

Click here to download the latest edition of the illustrated Wonder Box Catalogue.

The catalogue lists all of the loans boxes currently available and explains how to book a box and the Terms and Conditions under which the loans scheme operates.  New boxes will be added to the catalogue as the review process continues, starting with pre-history and geology in 2015.

Click here for our Summer/Autumn 2014 Newsletter for Schools.

Booking a Group Visit

For all enquiries and group visits please telephone 023 9283 4744 / 4737 or contact us by email stating clearly your name, school contact details, number/age of children, which museum/exhibition you are interested in and your preferred dates/times.


Portsmouth City CouncilAll pictures are copyright of Portsmouth Museums and Record Service

Portsmouth Natural History Museum
Visit the City Museums site
Visit the Records Office site
Visit the D-day museum site
Visit the Charles Dickens Birthplace site
Visit the Southsea Castle site
Visit the Portsmouth Museum Portal site

The front of the natural history museum

Looking at butterfly

Inside the butterfly house