Yorkshire Museum

Collections Highlights — Index

Alan the Dinosaur

Alan the Dinosaur is the name given to an unidentified Sauropodomorph fossil, found in 1995. The fossil is regarded as the oldest sauropod dinosaur found in the United Kingdom.

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Archaeology

Our archaeology collection of nearly one million objects ranges from the earliest prehistoric finds up until the twentieth century and is the one of the most comprehensive in a regional British museum outside London.

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Astronomy

The York Observatory, in the Museum Gardens, is the major part of our Astronomy Collection. It was built in 1832 and 1833 and is the oldest working observatory in Yorkshire.

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Biology

Over the last 180 years the Yorkshire Museum has amassed a biology collection which now contains over 200,000 specimens from all the major biological groups.

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Bust of Constantine the Great

This marble bust carved in the image of the Roman emperor, Constantine the Great is a very rare and hugely significant object to have been found in Britain. 

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Champion Trees

The Museum Gardens are home to six county Champion Trees. These are the biggest examples in Yorkshire identified by The Tree Register, and are between 80 and 150 years old.

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Extinct Auks

Our two great auks, now an extinct species, are in very good condition and are a rare treasure for a regional museum.

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Fulford Ring

The Fulford ring is a medieval gold ring with emerald and ruby jewels from the 15th century.

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Geology

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

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Giant Ichthyosaur

This giant fossilised ichthyosaur skeleton is one of the largest and most complete examples of its kind.  

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Giant Moa Skeleton

The Yorkshire Museum’s South Island Giant Moa – a huge bird a long way from home     

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Iron Age Gold Torcs

These two gold bracelets, which were found by metal detectorists near Tadcaster, have been declared the first Iron Age gold jewellery ever found in the north of England.

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Ivory Bangle Lady

The remains of a Roman woman known as the Ivory Bangle Lady have helped archaeologists discover that wealthy people from across the Empire were living in fourth century York.  

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Middleham Jewel

A late 15th-century gold pendant, set with a large blue sapphire, the Middleham Jewel was discovered by a metal detectorist in 1985 near Middleham Castle, the northern home of Richard III.  

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Numismatics

Walkington hoard – the oldest coins in Yorkshire The Trust has 18 Iron Age pale gold staters which are a portion of a substantial hoard found by metal-detectorists. The coins date to around 50AD and were made by the Corieltavi tribe who lived in what is now Lincolnshire and the East Midlands. They were probably struck in …

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Roman Hair

This exceptionally rare hairpiece was discovered in York and probably belonged to a girl who was in her mid-teens when she died.

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St Mary's Figure of Christ

The 13th Century figurine was made in Limoges, France, which was the most well-known European centre for champlevé enamel production during this period. The date ties in with a major phase of rebuilding at St Mary’s Abbey (1271 – 1294) during which the remains that can still be viewed today were built.

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Star Carr Frontlets

During the 1950’s archaeologists discovered 21 red deer headdresses during excavations at the Star Carr site in North Yorkshire. Further work in 2015 revealed even more of these rare objects, making Star Carr one of the most important Mesolithic archaeological sites in Europe.

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Star Carr Pendant

Found in 2015, this 11,000 year old engraved shale pendant was discovered by archaeologists during excavations at the Early Mesolithic site at Star Carr in North Yorkshire. According to new research, it is thought to be unique to the UK.

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Tansy Beetles

This “Star Object” may not be officially an object, but it is certainly a star of York Museum Gardens! Tansy Beetles are an endangered species which live only in a 30km stretch of the banks of the River Ouse around York.

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Tempest Anderson - Explorer and Surgeon

Tempest Anderson travelled across the world, exploring weird and wonderful landscapes, meeting the indigenous peoples of far-away communities and bringing back his amazing photographs to show people back at home in York.

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The Bedale Hoard

The Bedale Hoard was found by metal detectorists in 2012 and bought by the Yorkshire Museum after generous donations from the public and grants from funders. It spent many months being conserved by the York Archaeological Trust (YAT), with fascinating and intricate details of the metalwork being uncovered for the first time. Tiny cuts have become …

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The Cawood Sword

Mystery surrounds this Viking sword which has survived virtually intact for nearly 1,000 years.

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The Gilling Sword

This sword, first spotted by a nine-year-old boy playing in a stream, is one of the finest Anglian weapons to be found in England. Eagle-eyed Garry Fridd was later awarded a Blue Peter badge for his amazing discovery in April 1976.

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The Middlesbrough Meteorite

The Middlesbrough Meteorite hit the earth in 1881. It is about 4,500 billion years old and was formed at the same time as the earth and the solar system.

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The York Helmet

The York Helmet was found by mechanical digger operator Andy Shaw in May 1982, as builders prepared to start work on a new York shopping centre.

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