If you are looking for a unique and educational experience in Galway, you might want to visit the James Mitchell Geology Museum. This museum is located on the campus of University of Galway, in the historic Quadrangle building. It is the only remnant of the University’s defunct Natural History Museum, and it houses a fascinating collection of rocks, minerals and fossils from Ireland and around the world.

The museum was established in 1852 by William King, the first professor of Geology in Galway. He amassed a large number of specimens from his own research and from exchanges and gifts with other scientists. Some of the highlights of the museum include a meteorite from Argentina, a dinosaur bone from Wyoming, a mammoth tooth from Siberia, and a rare blue quartz from Connemara.

The museum also showcases the geology of western Ireland, with displays on the Burren, the Aran Islands, and the Cliffs of Moher. You can learn about the different types of rocks and how they were formed by volcanic, sedimentary and metamorphic processes. You can also see examples of fossils that reveal the ancient life forms that inhabited this region millions of years ago.

The museum is named after James Mitchell, who was the professor of Geology and Mineralogy from 1921 to 1966. He also served as the College Secretary and Registrar, and he made significant contributions to the development of the University. The museum was formally designated as the James Mitchell Geology Museum in 1977, in recognition of his legacy.

The museum is currently open for visits by appointment only. You can contact lorna.larkin@universityofgalway.ie for further enquiries. The museum is free to visit, but donations are welcome.

The James Mitchell Geology Museum is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into the history and diversity of our planet. It is a great place to explore and learn for anyone interested in geology, natural history, or science in general. If you are in Galway, don’t miss this opportunity to discover one of its best-kept secrets.


James Mitchell Geology Museum, National University of Ireland Galway, 19 University Rd, Galway, Ireland

53.277477, -9.061790

James Mitchell Geology Museum



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