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Museum Expeditions & Field Trips - 2014


THE KELVINGROVE MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 2014
Kelvingrove Museum
Kelvingrove Museum

Entering the museum from the Argyle Street entrance, turn left after the reception desk towards the West Wing. On the left can be seen displays of rocks, minerals, crystals and meteorites along with an animatronic dinosaur.

Meteorites
Meteorites
Minerals and Crystals
Minerals and Crystals

At the far end of this display is the Creatures of the Past Gallery comprising fossils throughout geological time. Specimens are displayed in ascending order of age, starting with fish from the Devonian and ending with mammals of the Pleistocene.

Included are casts of a Ceratosaurus, Pteranodon and Icthyosaur from the Jurassic/Cretaceous, one of the Stigmaria tree stumps from the Carboniferous (from the Fossil Grove in Victoria Park to the west of Glasgow), a dinosaur trackway of Chirotherium footprints from the Triassic and the skeleton of a complete Irish Elk from the Pleistocene.

Ammonites
Ammonites
Stigmaria
Stigmaria
Footprints
Footprints
Eggs/Gastroliths
Eggs/Gastroliths
Fish
Fish
Irish Elk
Irish Elk
Mammoth
Mammoth
Pteranodon
Pteranodon
Reptiles
Reptiles
Pterosaurs
Pterosaurs

Most of the specimens are Scottish in origin with a few from England and Germany:

Flint tools are displayed upstairs in the Scotland's First People Gallery off the South side of the Spitfire Court on the First Floor.

Flint Tools
Flint Tools

On the Lower Ground floor is the main Museum shop which sells specimens of amethyst, citrine, malachite, fossil fish, trilobites, ammonites and urchins. The trilobites are mainly Moroccan, the urchins all from Spain but the origin of all the other items on sale is not stated. A separate museum shop is available specifically for children and sells all sorts of dinosaur models, polished stones and small fossils.

The Hunterian Museum (approximately a 5-10 minute walk away) can be reached via a footpath through the grounds to the north of the museum (see 2013 Field Trips).

Details of the Museum are:-

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Argyle Street, GLASGOW G3 8AG
Telephone: 0141 276 9599
Open Mon - Thursday and Saturday 10am - 5pm, Friday and Sunday 11am - 5pm
Closed all day 25th, 26th, 31st (afternoon) December, 1st, 2nd January
Free entry, free daily guided tours, wheelchair access

Nearest underground station is Kelvinhall (about 600 metres away)

Visit their website for further information.


THE FOSSIL GROVE, VICTORIA PARK, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 2014

The Fossil Grove was discovered by accident in 1887 when an old Dolerite quarry was being landscaped as part of the building of Victoria Park in the Glasgow suburb of Whiteinch. 11 fossil tree stumps and a tree trunk of the genus Lepidodendron - a species of giant club moss dating from the Carboniferous - were found exactly where they were growing some 300 million years ago. It is probable that many more such fossils exist in the surrounding area but the cost of further excavation would far outweigh any additional scientific benefits. None of the fossils found in 1887 were removed so any Fossil Grove specimens that you see elsewhere, such as in the Kelvingrove Museum, are in fact casts/replicas. In 1890 a building was constructed to protect this unique find and remains largely unchanged. The Fossil Grove has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Main Building
Main Building
Ornamental Gardens
Gardens
Replica Lepidodendron Trunk
Replica
Inside of the Hall
Main Hall
Layout of the Specimens
Layout
Landscaped Quarry at Rear
Quarry
Walkway through the Dolerite
Walkway
Walkway through the Dolerite
Walkway
Information board in the Park
Information Board

Within the building are also photographs of the site through its development along with information boards and vivaria containing live animals and insects similar to those that would have inhabited a Carboniferous forest.

Audio descriptions of the Fossil Grove are made over a public address system every 15 minutes or so and an attendant is available to talk about the history of the site and to show visitors fossils found in the Glasgow area. Photographs are permitted but the inside of the hall is a little dark so use of flash might be needed.

There is no gift shop on site and unfortunately the site guide book has been out of print for some years - though second hand copies can sometimes be found on Amazon or Ebay.

Admission is free. Opening times may vary on a seasonal basis, but are generally 10am until 4pm, seven days a week between Easter and the end of September. Disabled access and toilets available on site.

Contact Details:
The Fossil Grove
Victoria Park Drive South, Whiteinch, GLASGOW G14 1BN
Telephone: 0141 287 5918
E-Mail: les@glasgow.gov.uk

Nearest station is Jordanhill (about 15 minutes walk away) about 10 minutes out of Glasgow Central or Glasgow Queen Street (from the lower platforms at both stations).

Visit the Glasgow City website for further information.


BOTANICAL GARDENS, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 2014

Main Range
Main Greenhouse
The Kibble Palace
The Kibble Palace
The Grounds
The Grounds
The Arboretum
The Arboretum

Started in 1817 the Glasgow Botanical Gardens extend to almost 50 acres (20 hectares). You won't find any rocks, fossils or minerals on display here but what you will find are specimens of living fossils of plants and trees known from the fossil record, many of which are accompanied by information panels describing their history.

There are two main buildings, the "Main Range", which contains most of the smaller specimens (although some are still pretty large!) and the "Kibble Palace", home of the National Collection of Tree Ferns. Naturally, all of the fully grown mature trees are outside in the grounds. Some of these can be found around the gardens themselves while others are sited in a separate arboretum area immediately to the north of the gardens.

Opening times are:-
Grounds - 7am to dusk (all year) Glasshouses - 10am - 6pm (4.15pm in winter)

Admission is free. Dogs are allowed in the grounds (on a short lead) but only guide diogs are allowed in the glasshouses. Tea Rooms are located in the old Curator's House.

Contact Details:
Glasgow Botanical Gardens
730, Great Western Road, GLASGOW, G12 0UE
Telephone: 0141 276 1614
E-Mail: gbg@glasgow.gov.uk

Nearest underground station is Hillhead (about 5 minutes walk away).

Visit their website for further information.


SWANSEA MUSEUM, SWANSEA, WALES - NOVEMBER 2014

Swansea Museum
Swansea Museum

Completed in 1841, Swansea Museum is the oldest museum in Wales. It is very much a municipal museum in that much of the collection centres around the history of the city and people of Swansea and the surrounding area. Not many geological specimens are on display but those that are are surprising for a small local museum. Each specimen is described but it is a shame that most have no details about where they originate nor do they get any mention on the museum website.

Plesiosaur
Plesiosaur
Ammonite & Calamites
Ammonite and Calamites
Stalagmite
Stalagmite
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene & Holocene

Opening times are 10am - 5pm Tuesday-Sunday (last admission 4pm). Admission is free.

Contact Details:
Swansea Museum, Victoria Road, The Maritime Quarter, Swansea SA1 1SN
Telephone: 01792 653763
E-Mail: museum.swansea@swansea.gov.uk

Visit their website for further information.

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