Dive into Yorkshire’s prehistoric past and come face-to-face with ancient creatures from the deep.
Ancient Seas of the Yorkshire Coast.
A story through time from Whitby to Flamborough Head
The Rotunda Museum’s new exhibition launches on Saturday 21 July 2018 with a free public family fun day. Press visits can be arranged.
How long ago did rhinoceros, hippopotamus and hyenas roam Yorkshire soil? What terrifying prehistoric creatures once lurked in its ancient waters? A main new exhibition at Scarborough’s RotundaMuseum, Ancient Seas of the Yorkshire Coast: A story through time from Whitby to Flamborough Head sheds light on Britain’s prehistoric past – and the wonderful creatures that once roamed the region’s land and seas.
Opening on Saturday 21 July 2018, the new exhibition at Scarborough’s iconic Rotunda Museum dives into almost 360 million years of history from Yorkshire’s prehistoric past. From the Carboniferous period, through the Permian, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods until the end of the last Ice Age 11,700 years ago. Artefacts and fossils uncovered from Yorkshire’s Dinosaur Coast and beyond demonstrate how the landscape has developed over millions of years, and specially commissioned reconstructions will see visitors coming face-to-face with marine life that once existed in its ancient seas.
From 330 million year old carboniferous corals brought to our coast by ice age glaciers through to woolly rhinos and hyenas that roamed Yorkshire 120 000 years ago, the exhibition will display a variety of treasures telling fascinating stories. Visitors can expect the familiar ammonites and belemnites, alongside some more unusual sea creatures such as delicate starfish, Jurassic crocodiles, and Yorkshire’s only Jurassic turtle. Visitors will also get the chance to see a world class collection of ‘Speeton Shrimps’ or fossil lobsters from the cretaceous period. With a collection of amazing fossils including some which will be on display for the first time, the exhibition provides a rare opportunity to see the changing landscape of the Yorkshire coast over a period of 300 million years.
Julie Baxter, Venues & Volunteer Manager at Scarborough Museums Trust, said: “We’re really excited for the launch of Ancient Seas of the Yorkshire Coast. This exhibition is a chance for us to highlight Yorkshires key part in Britain’s prehistoric past and show the changing landscape of the Dinosaur Coast. It’s also a great opportunity for us to share with our visitors all the fascinating pieces in our collection. Ancient Seas is a great exhibition for all the family too, as naturally prehistory and dinosaurs are subjects that bring everyone together.”
To celebrate the launch of Ancient Seas of the Yorkshire Coast, The Rotunda is hosting a week of events for both adults and families. A free Family Fun Day on Saturday 21 July marks the opening of the exhibition: visitors will spend the day exploring Ancient Seas and enjoying a host of fun activities for prehistory-loving young people, from crafts to rock pooling to storytelling. Family events through the week include Fossil Handling featuring hands-on sessions with the Museum’s geologists (Tue 24 July) and Could You Survive The Stone Age?, a day of prehistoric adventure involving making pots and headdresses and finding out about life in the Stone Age (Thu 26 July).
Opened in 1829, The Rotunda is one of the world’s first purpose-built geological museums. An exhibit in itself due to its unique cylindrical building, built to a design suggested by William Smith, the ‘Father of English Geology’. Ancient Seas of the Yorkshire Coast sees the Museum fully re-opening its rooms and will run from July 2018 onwards.
Ancient Seas of the Yorkshire Coast: A story through time from Whitby to Flamborough Head runs from 21 July 2018 onwards. Family Fun Day Sat 21 July, 10-5am, free. Usual opening times: Tue – Sun 10am – 5pm and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am-5pm, Free with £3 annual pass for Scarborough Museums Trust, Under 18s are free. For more information visit www.scarboroughmuseumstrust.com.