Hi, and welcome to Geoblitz. I’m Neil, the Assistant Curator of Natural Science/Geology at the Leeds Museum Discovery Centre; undertaking this three year project funded by the John Ellerman Foundation to investigate and promote the Leeds Museums geology collection.

The first two years will be spent reviewing the geology collection by guest geologists and palaeontologists, to highlight specific areas of interest and individual specimens. The results of these review will be condensed and posted on this blog, and will result in a series of free community projects, run by the museum to broaden public awareness and accessibility of the geology collections. The third year will consist of a series of  inspired geology events, run in conjunction with the projects Partnered Museums across the U.K.


The geology collection at Leeds Museum houses an impressive range of over 27,000 specimens of palaeontology, petrology and mineralogy;  featuring significant rarities, figured and type specimens.

A tray of Iguanodon limb & tail bones; with ichthyosaur jaw, orbital socket & teeth.
A tray of Iguanodon limb & tail bones; with Ichthyosaur orbital socket, assorted teeth & jaw.



Fossils: An extensive collection of: plants, bivalves, fish, ammonites and brachiopods; with gastropods, arthropods, echinoids, corals, graptolites and reptiles strongly represented –  including complete Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur skeletons.





A tray containing Tourmaline specimens; with Malachite, Calcite and Smithsonite.
A tray containing Tourmaline specimens; with Malachite, Calcite and Smithsonite.



Minerals: A very strong and historic collection, covering a vast range of mineral types, of local, national and international specimens.






A tray containing Rhino, Horse and other bones; with Rhino bones, Bear jaw and Hyeana teeth, All form "Kents Cavern"

A tray containing Rhino, Horse and various mammal bones; with Rhino bones, Bear jaw and Hyena teeth, all from “Kents Cavern”.



Mammals: A well represented collection featuring numerous rare cave material: Kents Cavern, Raygill Fissure, Wookey hole, Windy Knoll and Victoria cave deposits. Along with our local star, the infamous “Armley Hippo”.







A tray containing Tourmaline specimens; with Basalt, Granite & an Opal bearing Limestone.

A tray containing Schist specimens; with Basalt, Granite & Opal bearing Limestone.



Petrology: A strong collection featuring a variety of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, – including unusual and unique structural features. Not to mention a number of meteorites.






For a more in depth overview of the individual sub-categories, click on “The Collections” tab in the tool bar above.


Geoblitz will give you an amazing insight into the collections archives at the Discovery Centre and a chance to join in with the exciting discoveries yet to be unearthed, as well as highlighting some of the stars of the collection.

Plesiosaur skeleton.

Plesiosaur skeleton. 170cm (5’7″)

All dramatic discoveries, events and progress will be regularly updated on this blog; but for a more up close and personal feel visit “Locker 19” or check out how things are going on Twitter: @CuratorNeil

  1. Clare Crosswaite

    Hi Neil!
    Is this Plesiosaur skeleton real and in your museum?


    • Hi clare, The specimen is a cast/replica of Plesiosaurus Dolichodeirus presented to Leeds museum by Thomas Hawkins of the NMH, London in the 1860’s. At present the specimen is stored in the archives at the Discovery Centre, and will be featured in the upcoming Vertebrate palaeontology review.

      Take care, and thanks for the question. Regards, Neil.


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