Natural History Museum
Essex CO1 1DN
When does a museum not look like a museum? When it’s a church! Colchester’s Natural History Museum is located in the old redundant All Saints Church in the centre of town.
This museum is particularly popular with children because it has lots of hands on activities. They can find out about wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change by crawling through the badger sett, stroking the friendly fox and exploring the exploring the outside garden trail.
Did you know that there was an earthquake in Colchester in 1884? Or that mammoths and hippos used to roam this area? Discover more about open salt marshes, beaches and the creatures that lurk beneath your feet.
From the Ice Age right up to today, there is a wealth of information in this local museum.
History of the building
From its architecture, All Saints appears to have been built during the Norman period. The nave and chancel are the oldest parts of the existing church, and the north aisle and tower are more recent additions. The shape of the windows is typical of gothic architecture which dates them to between 1375 and 1550.
In 1648, during the English Civil War, St Botolph's church was badly damaged. The parishioners were welcomed at All Saints where they attended for nearly 200 years until 1837 when the present St Botolph's church was built.
All Saints became redundant in 1956 due to falling numbers of the congregation as the population in the town centre diminished. It started its new life in 1958 as the town’s Natural History Museum displaying the rich natural history of north-east Essex.
Plan Your Trip
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here:
Open 6 days a week.
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 – 17:00 hours.
Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00 hours.
Closed every Monday and 24-27 December & 1 January.
The Museum attempts to open all galleries at all times. Occasionally, galleries need to be closed at short notice due to conservation, maintenance works or events. If you are coming to the Museum to see something in a specific gallery, please telephone in advance.
Baby-change; Toilets; Gift Shop;
Smoking not allowed.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1206 282 941
The Natural History Museum
is situated opposite the main gates to Colchester
's Castle Park at the eastern end of the High Street. The nearest car parks are Priory Street
The museum is a 10 minute walk from the bus station in Osborne Street
Town railway station. See location on Google maps:
Google Maps - Colchester Natural History Museum