Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Project Name
Oxfordshire Underwater: Fossil Sea Reptiles from the Time of the Dinosaurs
Our Funding
Total Project Cost

As the largest new permanent display to be installed in the museum for decades, the Out of the Deep exhibit has reinvigorated the central court of Oxford University Museum of Natural History, not only providing something new and exciting for visitors, but also a much more engaging and accessible display for blind and partially sighted people, new opportunities for volunteers, and new sessions for school groups.

Our funding was used to help create a new interactive and engaging display that highlights the UK’s exceptional fossil heritage in the form of two of the museum’s most important large plesiosaur skeletons. One of these is a rare, short-necked plesiosaur, or "pilosaur" discovered in a quarry near Yarnton, Oxfordshire in 1994. We funded the cost and installation of new display cases and equipment, contributed towards new artwork for interpretation and display material and funded the model of the Yarnton pilosaur.

The exhibits and displays have been designed to allow easy access to view the specimens and includes interactive and tactile learning methods to enable visitors to learn how the fossils were discovered and collected, how museum staff prepare and study specimens and gain an understanding about the life in an ancient, tropical sea that once covered much of the British Isles.