Nature Study Museum

We took a detour today to have a look at the Nature Study Museum in the grounds of St. George-in-the-East, the great Hawksmoor church on the Highway.   It’s an odd little building, nearly completely derelict, originally built as a mortuary chapel where coffins were put before transfer to a public cemetery.   In 1904, it was converted into a Nature Study Museum by an eager young curator, Miss. Kate Hall, to introduce the local poor to the world of nature, including tanks of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders and beehives outside.   When she died, the building was described as a ‘fairy house in an oasis’, but the monkey took to biting children and the Museum was closed during the second world war:

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