Building Stones Collection

The John Watson Building Stones Collection is named after John Watson (1842-1918), who donated his collection of approximately 300 British and foreign stones and specimens illustrating the manufacture of plasters and cements to the Museum in 1905. Watson had retired from his work in the Portland Cement industry and continued to develop the collection until his death in 1918. Today it comprises approximately 2,500 traditional building stones, roofing slates, road stones, flagstones and decorative and ornamental stones that were in extensive use throughout Britain and it's colonies during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The collection is housed in the former Museum of Economic Geology in the Department of Earth Sciences. The collection is open to the public by appointment only.

Monday to Friday
10:00 to 13:00 & 14:00 to 17:00

Saturday
10:00 to 16:00 

Sunday
Closed

Christmas and New Year 2018/19
The Museum will close at 4pm on Saturday 22nd December 2018 and re-open at 10am on Saturday 5th January 2019



Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition to the North-West Passage has often been in the news ever since he left England on the 19th May, 1845 never to return. Successive searches throughout the 19th century eventually found artefacts and human remains. But it was not until 2014 the wreck of Franklin’s ship, HMS Erebus was found and two years later the wreck of HMS Terror. Now the extraordinary story of HMS Erebus is receiving new publicity thanks to the publication of Michael Palin’s new book – ‘Erebus : the story of a ship’. Whilst the earliest searches did not find any traces of Franklin and his crew, one of them, led by Captain Kellett did find a superb mammoth tusk, which is now part of the Sedgwick Museum’s Ice Age display.



The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, the oldest of the University of Cambridge museums, has appointed its first full-time director.