Presenting... A Story in Stone

Exterior of the museum with different types of stone labelled with numbers

Presenting... A Story in Stone

Presenting... A Story in Stone was a temporary exhibit at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Two of the strongest advocates for the creation of the Museum of Natural History were Henry Acland (1815-1900), Professor of Medicine, and the geologist John Phillips (1800-1874). From the beginning, the objective of the Museum founders was to teach science, and geology played a big part in achieving this.

In his 1863 pamphlet, Notices of Rocks and Fossils in the University Museum, Oxford, Phillips wrote:

Though the stone of which the Museum is built, and the marbles which are employed in the internal decoration, can hardly be regarded as part of the collections of rocks, they must be included among the objects to which the student of geology should devote some attention; and were indeed part selected for the purpose of adding to the illustrations of that science.


A sample of Box Ground stone

The original stone supplier's sample of Box Ground

An ironstone specimen

The dark red-brown stone in the arches of the first floor windows is Banbury Ironstone. This iron-rich, fossiliferous sandy limestone from NW Oxfordshire is also known as Marlstone or Hornton stone. It was laid down during the Lower Jurasic Period.





Map showing that the presenting case is just to the left, next to the help desk, as you enter the Oxford Natural History Museum through the main door.

You can find the Presenting Case next to the Welcome Desk; just to the left as you enter the Museum through the main entrance.