Museum sights in Cambridge
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Fondly dubbed 'the Fitz' by locals, this colossal neoclassical pile was one of the first public art museums in Britain, built to house the fabulous treasures that the seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam had bequeathed to his old university. An unabashedly over-the-top building, it sets out to mirror its contents in an ostentatious jumble of styles that mixes mosaic with marble, Greek with Egyptian and more. It was begun by George Basevi in 1837, but he did not live to see its completion: while working on Ely Cathedral he stepped back to admire his handiwork, slipped and fell to his death.
The lower galleries are filled with priceless treasures spanning the ancient world; look out…
Next door to Kettle's Yard, this 300-year-old former inn now cluttered with a wonderfully diverse collection of domestic tools and equipment from 1700 onwards.
The Scott Polar Institute, founded with part of the relief fund set up in the wake of the ill-fated Scott expedition to the South Pole, these days takes a lead role in climate change research and has an excellent museum that focuses on polar exploration, charting the feats of the likes of Amundsen, Nansen and Scott himself. Regardless of whether you see Scott as a valiant explorer or a vain, poorly prepared expedition leader whose bad decisions led to the demise of his team, it’s difficult not to be moved by the collection of artefacts, such as paintings, photographs, clothing, equipment and maps, journals and last messages left for loved ones by Scott’s polar crew.