Geology

Mammoth tooth from the gelogy collection

The geology collection contains more than 40,000 specimens including 500 rocks, 38,915 fossils and 2,500 minerals and is one of the most important scientific and historical collections in the Midlands.

About three-quarters of the specimens are from Northamptonshire Jurassic sites. The other quarter were found across Britain and the wider world.

How the collection started

The collection developed through the donations of a number of local collectors and their interest in local, national and international specimens.

Key objects from the collection

There are at least 86 type and figured specimens which include ammonite material. Type specimens are the first examples of a new species to be described. Figured specimens are fine examples of their species which have been used to illustrate articles in scientific journals and books.

There are a number of individual collections assembled by well-respected geologists such as Lord Northampton from 1790-1851, W. Beeby Thompson from 1848-1931 and Walter Drawbridge Crick from 1857-1903. These collectors contributed to our complete collection of minerals such as sulphides and oxides. Thompson sought out and created an important collection of fossils from Northamptonshire which were added to by other donors. Specimens include bones and teeth from mammals such as mammoths, Ichthyosaur remains, and corals and mollusca.

Where to see the geology collection

Some key objects can be viewed in the museum history display including some recently conserved specimens. We are planning new displays at Abington Park Museum, so look out for these.

Museum history display

Geology collections are also included in our online resources.

Online resources Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

Online resources Abington Park Museum

Fossil stories

Research or enquire about the geology collection

We welcome access to the collection through research visits, viewings and correspondence.

Research or enquire about the collection