York Castle Museum

Geology

Our outstanding geology collection includes minerals, rocks and fossils from across Britain and the world, and covers everything from gems to meteorites.

The collection started with the discovery of an ancient hyena den in nearby Kirkdale and expanded rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is an invaluable research resource for earth scientists and is supported by a fine library.

We have over 100,000 fossil specimens, mostly from Great Britain. The collection is particularly strong in Lower Carboniferous, Mesozoic and Tertiary material and has especially good Yorkshire coverage. We have over a thousand type and figured specimens.

There are over 5,000 mineral specimens from Britain and the world, many of outstanding quality, including a North of England collection.

Our 7,500 rock specimens include the Bernard Hobson collection of 3,000 igneous rocks from around the world and 1,500 accompanying thin sections.

Our small meteorite collection contains the Middlesbrough meteorite which fell on 4 March 1881.

We also have a collection of 5,000 negatives and glass lantern slides dating from1883 to 1913, created by the York volcano scientist Tempest Anderson.