Cumberland House Natural History Museum

Cumberland House Natural History Museum Portsmouth City Council's natural history museum and seasonal butterfly house. Open Tues-Sun and bank holiday Mondays, free entry.
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If you are visiting we would be grateful for feedback on some of our new temporary displays - we are looking at differen...
20/11/2019

If you are visiting we would be grateful for feedback on some of our new temporary displays - we are looking at different styles of presentation

All ready for visitors to our stand at Blast from the Past
17/11/2019

All ready for visitors to our stand at Blast from the Past

If you are visiting the museum this week pick up a post-it note and let us know what would you like to see in our displa...
30/10/2019

If you are visiting the museum this week pick up a post-it note and let us know what would you like to see in our displays in the future.

We have an animal skull quiz trail this week. Can you work out which skull belongs to which animal? Pick up a trail from...
29/10/2019

We have an animal skull quiz trail this week. Can you work out which skull belongs to which animal? Pick up a trail from the front desk - 50p which includes a small treat on completion

A great day out with some of the lovely Natural History volunteers and volunteers from The D-Day Story. Thank you to Has...
21/10/2019

A great day out with some of the lovely Natural History volunteers and volunteers from The D-Day Story. Thank you to Haslemere Museum for hosting us.

Thank you Haslemere Educational Museum for hosting a fantastic day out for The D-Day Story volunteer team, and volunteers from Cumberland House Natural History Museum. We learned a lot about the role of your volunteers and definitely recommend a visit!

We've got the Amateur Entomologists Society visiting us on Saturday (19th October). Join them in the gardens of Cumberla...
14/10/2019

We've got the Amateur Entomologists Society visiting us on Saturday (19th October). Join them in the gardens of Cumberland House between 11.45am and 12.30pm for a bug hunt and Earthworm survey.

One of our volunteers has been working on our bird study skin collection, which contains some beautiful specimens from t...
24/09/2019

One of our volunteers has been working on our bird study skin collection, which contains some beautiful specimens from the Malay peninsula, including this beautiful Malay Scarlet Minivet.

Here's a beautiful Malachite Butterfly, spotted last week in our butterfly house. It gets it name from the mineral malac...
16/09/2019

Here's a beautiful Malachite Butterfly, spotted last week in our butterfly house. It gets it name from the mineral malachite (pictured underneath), due to its green colour.

A big thank you to Kane from Bournemouth University who has been helping us behind the scenes on the Natural History col...
29/08/2019

A big thank you to Kane from Bournemouth University who has been helping us behind the scenes on the Natural History collections for the last 9 weeks

One of our butterfly house volunteers found this lovely butterfly - Mexican Cycadian,  Eumaeus toxea.. It's proved rathe...
29/08/2019

One of our butterfly house volunteers found this lovely butterfly - Mexican Cycadian, Eumaeus toxea.. It's proved rather tricky to spot, we think that there are two in the butterfly house at the moment.

Beautiful Pink-spotted Cattleheart  butterflies can be seen in the butterfly house this week. There are also some very f...
27/08/2019

Beautiful Pink-spotted Cattleheart butterflies can be seen in the butterfly house this week. There are also some very fast moving Giant Swallowtails but they are proving tricky to photograph!

A bit about the history of Cumberland House
21/08/2019

A bit about the history of Cumberland House

As you probably know some of our museums live in some pretty amazing buildings. One of them is Cumberland House, a great family museum, check them out Cumberland House Natural History Museum and Butterfly House - Cumberland House Museum

The house is well known as a Natural History Museum but was originally a private villa built in about 1856 by local brewer Richard Murrell. The building includes a coach house, hay loft and stable. The stable is now used for parking pushchairs rather than horses! 🐴

The original building was extended during the late 1800s and there have been lots of alterations over the years as it has been adapted for use as a museum. Cumberland House was purchased by Portsmouth City Council in 1928 and opened as a Museum and Art Gallery in 1931. It became a natural history museum in the early 1970s.

The museum is a Grade II Listed Building and is situated within the area of the Grade II Registered Park, Southsea Common.

Today the Wild about Portsmouth have taken objects from our Natural History collections to the Camouflage event at The D...
14/08/2019

Today the Wild about Portsmouth have taken objects from our Natural History collections to the Camouflage event at The D Day Story

We have a new butterfly, a giant glasswing ,.which has emerged and flying around our butterfly house this week.
12/08/2019

We have a new butterfly, a giant glasswing ,.which has emerged and flying around our butterfly house this week.

We never know what we will found in our natural history collections! Our curious find today is a Boa constrictor in our ...
02/08/2019

We never know what we will found in our natural history collections! Our curious find today is a Boa constrictor in our spirit collections store in a salad cream jar (one gallon)

We've 18 organisations coming along to our Wild about Portsmouth fair at Portsmouth Museum on the 10 August, where we ha...
29/07/2019

We've 18 organisations coming along to our Wild about Portsmouth fair at Portsmouth Museum on the 10 August, where we have space to accommodate them all! Lots of family activities and talks throughout the day.
Coming along are:
Portsmouth University (Insect Forensics)
Southampton Natural History Society & Peartree Green
Secrets of the Solent
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Southsea Beach Watch
Hampshire Bat Group
Plastic Free Portsmouth
Marine Conservation Society
West Sussex Geological Society
Southampton University (Biological Sciences)
Dinosaur Isle
Historic England
National Trust
Baffins Pond Association
Portsmouth and Southsea Tree Wardens
Friends of the Earth
Friends of Portsdown Hill
RSPB

Lovely orange butterfly flying around the butterfly house this week - Dryas iulia, also known as The Flame. This fast fl...
29/07/2019

Lovely orange butterfly flying around the butterfly house this week - Dryas iulia, also known as The Flame. This fast flying butterfly can be seen feeding on the lantana flowers

A cooler day today and beautiful 'starry night crackers' are flying around the butterfly house. They make a clicking noi...
26/07/2019

A cooler day today and beautiful 'starry night crackers' are flying around the butterfly house. They make a clicking noise when they fly.

Please note - The Butterfly House is closed this afternoon due to the high temperatures. Apologies for any inconvenience...
25/07/2019

Please note - The Butterfly House is closed this afternoon due to the high temperatures. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Butterfly Conservation
18/07/2019

Butterfly Conservation

Tomorrow is the launch of our Big #ButterflyCount 2019!

Join Chris Packham and Sir David Attenborough to make this the biggest ever! 🦋

Download our free app or ID chart today www.bigbutterflycount.org

As its the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 space mission this week we thought we'd share a butterfly from our natural ...
17/07/2019

As its the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 space mission this week we thought we'd share a butterfly from our natural history collections - the Apollo, a species found in the mountain regions of Europe

We've got quite a few Longwing butterflies flying around the butterfly house this week. They feed on nectar and also pol...
17/07/2019

We've got quite a few Longwing butterflies flying around the butterfly house this week. They feed on nectar and also pollen which provides additional nutrients giving them a longer flying time compared to the two to three weeks of our other butterflies

We've had a student from the University of Southampton helping us over the last couple of weeks. He made great inroads o...
11/07/2019

We've had a student from the University of Southampton helping us over the last couple of weeks. He made great inroads on the bee collections and the shell collections.

Have you seen the blue morphos flying around the butterfly house - there are several on the wing at the moment
05/07/2019

Have you seen the blue morphos flying around the butterfly house - there are several on the wing at the moment

Over the last few months the Natural Science volunteers have been cleaning, sorting and cataloguing our shell collection...
03/07/2019

Over the last few months the Natural Science volunteers have been cleaning, sorting and cataloguing our shell collections. They have been doing a brilliant job. This is one of 60 drawers,

This week the Wild about Portsmouth team and some of our wonderful volunteers are looking at ‘Notice Nature Feel Joy’ at...
25/06/2019

This week the Wild about Portsmouth team and some of our wonderful volunteers are looking at ‘Notice Nature Feel Joy’ at Derby Museum to get some ideas on coproduction best practice.

Owl butterfly just emerged in the puparium and nearly ready to be released into the butterfly house
21/06/2019

Owl butterfly just emerged in the puparium and nearly ready to be released into the butterfly house

Our rusty-tipped page butterflies Siproeta epaphus, seem to prefer the ground rather than the fruit on the feeder, altho...
18/06/2019

Our rusty-tipped page butterflies Siproeta epaphus, seem to prefer the ground rather than the fruit on the feeder, although they do feed on dung in the wild

Mirror, mirror..... As the number of butterflies in the Butterfly House has increased we need to ensure that they don't ...
14/06/2019

Mirror, mirror..... As the number of butterflies in the Butterfly House has increased we need to ensure that they don't escape! We've just installed a mirror so that our visitors can check that haven't got a passenger on their back.

New panels for the Hilsea display installed today
10/06/2019

New panels for the Hilsea display installed today

This week's new butterfly is the variable cracker, Hamadryas feronia. They get their name from the 'cracking' sound made...
06/06/2019

This week's new butterfly is the variable cracker, Hamadryas feronia. They get their name from the 'cracking' sound made by the wings of the males during courtship displays or defending their territory from other males.

Lovely blue form of the Doris longwing flying in the butterfly house at the moment
31/05/2019

Lovely blue form of the Doris longwing flying in the butterfly house at the moment

We enjoyed running the Pond Animals activity in the garden today. Not much in the way of life in local ponds so we diver...
28/05/2019

We enjoyed running the Pond Animals activity in the garden today. Not much in the way of life in local ponds so we diversified and included bug hunts.

Have you peeped into the puparium? Butterflies are emerging everyday
24/05/2019

Have you peeped into the puparium? Butterflies are emerging everyday

Fascinating free workshops for children aged 10* at City Museum next Thursday:What on earth do insects have to do with c...
23/05/2019

Fascinating free workshops for children aged 10* at City Museum next Thursday:
What on earth do insects have to do with crime? They are more than just a fly on the wall witness, and this workshop will demonstrate exactly what investigators use insects for. You will even get to attempt some crime-solving methods using flies and maggots...

Come and try something a bit different with staff and students from Portsmouth University's Criminology and Forensic Studies course.

Where: Portsmouth Museum
When: Thursday 30 May
Time: 10.30am - 11.30am and 2pm - 3pm.
Suitable for: Children age 10+ All children must be accompanied by an adult. Max 2 children per adult and 2 adults per child.
Cost: Free. Booking is advised as places are limited. Please telephone 023 9281 5276.

Join Wildlife Watch this Saturday looking at butterflies and bees at Cumberland House
17/05/2019
Cumberland House Natural History Museum Friends

Join Wildlife Watch this Saturday looking at butterflies and bees at Cumberland House

Event In The Museum - B & B (Bees and Butterflies) - Saturday, 18th May, 10.00am - 12 noon.

Wildlife Watch is for 5-15 year olds. The emphasis is on family learning and all children must be accompanied by an adult. The activities are based mostly outdoors, in natural surroundings. Please make sure you come prepared with suitable outdoor clothing and footwear. Suggested donation £5 per child.

Early morning in the butterfly house and the butterflies are resting (quiescent) before the day ahead. T
17/05/2019

Early morning in the butterfly house and the butterflies are resting (quiescent) before the day ahead. T

Lovely scarlet peacock butterfly flying in the butterfly house this week
15/05/2019

Lovely scarlet peacock butterfly flying in the butterfly house this week

You'll need to watch your step in the butterfly house at the moment  - this lovely Mexican bluewing butterfly seems to p...
07/05/2019

You'll need to watch your step in the butterfly house at the moment - this lovely Mexican bluewing butterfly seems to prefer resting on the ground rather than on the plants! They feed on rotting fruit

Our Leaf Wing  butterflies are easy to spot at the feeding station. Not so easy to find among the leaves though
03/05/2019

Our Leaf Wing butterflies are easy to spot at the feeding station. Not so easy to find among the leaves though

A very energetic butterfly, a White Morpho, was flying around the butterfly house this morning.It is related to Blue Mor...
30/04/2019

A very energetic butterfly, a White Morpho, was flying around the butterfly house this morning.It is related to Blue Morphos, but white rather than blue with a mother-of-pearl sheen to its wings.In the wild they are found in Mexico and Central America.

Its World Penguin Day. These Gentoo Penguin eggs, in our Natural History Collections, were collected from the Falkland I...
25/04/2019

Its World Penguin Day. These Gentoo Penguin eggs, in our Natural History Collections, were collected from the Falkland Islands during an expedition of the RRS Discovery II

A new butterfly species in our butterfly house - we've not had a Glasswing before. The transparency of the wings helps t...
25/04/2019

A new butterfly species in our butterfly house - we've not had a Glasswing before. The transparency of the wings helps the butterfly to blend into the background during flight

Address

Cumberland House, Eastern Parade
Southsea
PO4 0

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

023 9282 7261

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