A visit to the Haslemere Museum

The Haslemere Museum is a hidden wonder for geologists. It has a well established rock and fossil collection for such a modest place, and has a connection to a brilliant Victorian geologist, Sir Archibald Geikie (more on him another day).

The fossils outshone the rocks by far. This was mainly because the rock collection, while not bad, suffered a bit of interior design confusion, as igneous and metamorphics were placed too close together without significant distinction. However, it was nice to see a focus on ancient British rocks!

The meat of the pudding was seeing the trilobites . There were a fair few different types of trilobite on display, as seen below.

Parabolina Spinulosa, a Cambrian trilobite
A Cambrian trilobite, Parabolina Spinulosa, found in North Wales
Another Cambrian trilobite, Paradoxides Bohemicus
Another Cambrian trilobite, Paradoxides Bohemicus
An Ordovician trilobite, Ogygia Buchi, with Mr Whiddington's head for scale
An Ordovician trilobite, Ogygia Buchi, with Mr Whiddington’s head for scale
Calymene Blumenbachii, Silurian
Good ol’ Calymene Blumenbachii to round things off!

That was not all. Every drawer beneath the display cases were able to be opened by visitors, and more examples lay there. The lighting prevented me from taking suitable photos, but all the more to surprise you with should you go visit!

Also particularly enjoyable was the ammonite collection. This was significantly more spread-out than the trilobites, but there was one particular example worthy of a photograph, a massive Titanites (and Titanites are always worth taking a photo of).

Titanites, a massive ammonite from the Upper Jurassic period
The one and only Titanites! With Mr Whiddington and Bob the Frog for scale (a.k.a. attempting to ride the Titan)

There was also a nice wee Harpoceras with a beautiful Aragonite glaze that shimmered like it had only just been cut from the ground:

Harpoceras Exaratum, complete with aragonite shimmer
Harpoceras Exaratum, complete with aragonite shimmer

Mr Whiddington also found some dino friends to play with in the kids’ section, which I am sure he was most pleased about.

Mr Whiddington makes a new friend
Mr Whiddington makes a new friend
Whid makes another friend
Whid makes another friend… and then sits on him

There were some nice looking lagerstätten, including this fossil fish, which was so finely preserved it looked more like something you would find freshly grilled on your dinner plate.

A very well preserved Dapedium Polytum, found at famous fossil haunt Lyme Regis
A very well preserved Dapedium Polytum, found at famous fossil haunt Lyme Regis

The museum shop gave much happiness as they had for sale trilobite fossils! I got one, and it looks real enough, but sadly there was no label as to its species, and the shop assistant did not know. It looks to me like a good old Calymene, but if anyone else has any other ideas, do let me know!

Mystery Trilobite!
Mystery Trilobite!

Another thing that made me very happy was that the shop was selling plastic dinosaurs with feathers! Take a look at this beauty:

Feathery plastic dino!
Feathery plastic dino!

It’s nice to see stuff like this, where toys are reflecting the science, and good on the museum for having such awesome stuff for sale!

There were other nice aspects to the museum, including a lot of stuffed animals, butterfly collection, and a beehive viewer, and some lovely grounds you could take a wee walk in. ¬†And being next to a town centre with lots of lovely shops, I’ll definitely be visiting again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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