Strictly Pitt-Rivers!

Another week, another museum. We visited Oxford over the weekend with our friends Edward and Anne and showed them the marvellous updated Ashmoleum Museum. We had a short visit to some of the collections and an excellent lunch in the museum restaurant on the top floor. It affords great views from the terrace. On the next table was John Sargeant (ex-BBC Political Correspondent and Strictly Come Dancing star) - must be some sort or recommendation.

After lunch we visited a museum we had failed to visit on our trips through Oxford. This was the Pitt-Rivers Museum which houses the University of Oxford's collection of anthropology and world archaeology. To put it simply it is a Victorian treasure trove.

Pitt-Rivers with totem pole in background
Although updated through the years, the museum has stayed true to its original 19th century style of glass cabinets and small hand-written labels. The exhibits are packed in. The collections are diverse and sometime bizarre. For example, there is a section on body adornments and tattooing alongside shields, bows, lace making and coins. There are even shrunken heads.
Cases and drawers of artefacts

Because of the sensitive nature of the exhibits, light levels are kept low but visitors are encouraged to use torches. This makes it great fun for curious children. Viewed from the balcony the sight lots of lights from torches making their way through a maze of cabinets is fun.
Model Ships of the Line

For the marine enthusiast there is a superb collection of model boats (the models are of a great age) and several full-size canoes suspended from the ceiling. If you are boating through Oxford or visiting by other means (like us), we can thoroughly recommend the Pitt-Rivers. It is accessible through the Natural History Museum which is being refurbished at the moment.