Outside the museum

Museum of the History of Science


Students of science will swoon at this fascinating museum, stuffed to the ceilings with awesome astrolabes, astonishing orreries and early electrical apparatus. Housed in the lovely 17th-century building that held the original Ashmolean Museum, it displays everything from cameras that belonged to Lewis Carroll and Lawrence of Arabia to a wireless receiver used by Marconi in 1896 and a blackboard that was covered with equations by Einstein in 1931, when he was invited to give three lectures on relativity.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Oxford attractions

1. Sheldonian Theatre

0.02 MILES

Built from 1663 onwards to provide an appropriately grand setting for the university’s degree ceremonies – a function it still performs – this monumental…

2. Weston Library

0.03 MILES

Opened as the New Bodleian Library by King George VI in 1946, and renamed following a modernist overhaul in 2015, the Weston Library remains an extension…

3. Trinity College

0.04 MILES

Founded in 1555, this small college boasts a lovely 17th-century garden quad, designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Its exquisite chapel, a masterpiece of…

4. Bodleian Library

0.06 MILES

At least five kings, dozens of prime ministers and Nobel laureates, and luminaries such as Oscar Wilde, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien have studied in Oxford's…

5. Exeter College

0.06 MILES

Founded in 1314, Exeter is known for its elaborate 17th-century dining hall, which celebrated its 400th birthday in 2018, and ornate Victorian Gothic…

6. Bridge of Sighs

0.07 MILES

As you stroll along New College Lane, look up at the steeped Bridge of Sighs linking the two halves of Hertford College. Completed in 1914, it's sometimes…

7. Balliol College

0.08 MILES

Dating its foundation to ‘about’ 1263, Balliol College claims to be the oldest college in Oxford, though its current buildings are largely 19th-century…

8. Brasenose College

0.09 MILES

Small, select and elegant, Brasenose College was founded in 1509. A Brasenose Hall, belonging to Oxford University, already stood here by 1262, however,…