Visit Six Hunterian Venues in a Day

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If you’ve heard of The Hunterian but haven’t got round to seeing us yet, this is the perfect time. Over 200 years old (and looking well on it if we might say so), as we approach founder William Hunter’s 300th birthday, let us take you on a guided tour of our Glasgow based venues.

interior of museum in 1907

The Hunterian Museum

The upturned boat ceiling can satisfy even the most well travelled Instagrammer. Housed in the Gilbert Scott Building at the heart of the University of Glasgow campus, visitors from all corners are invited to experience a museum like few others.
view of Hunterian Museum roof interiorThe Museum houses a permanent display dedicated to the Antonine Wall, a Roman settlement. See preserved clothing, jewellery, and marker stones. If you’d like a guided tour, experience one offered by our MUSE guides, free of charge.

section of antonine wall

Also in the Museum: Geology, Fossils, Egyptology, Natural History, Science, Engineering.

Anatomy Museum

Exiting the Museum facing University Avenue, take a right through the car park and tucked away in the Thomson Building you will find the Anatomy Museum. Pathology specimens from Hunter’s collection, once stored at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, form the crux of this venue’s contents.

display cabines in a row in anatomy museum

Used frequently as a teaching and research space, if you would like to come along and learn about Hunter’s contribution to medicine you’ll need to book in advance.

The Hunterian Art Gallery

Heading across the road and up the hill towards the University Library you reach the Art Gallery. Here you can go inside the Mackintosh House – a recreation with original materials from Charles and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh’s residence at 78 Southpark Avenue (6 Florentine Terrace). Also inside are a contemporary art space, major exhibition room and the permanent art collection. See the largest display of Whistler artwork, including his painting materials, and key examples by the Scottish Colourists, and the Glasgow Boys.

a painting paletteOn the steps to greet you is ‘Diagram of an Object’ (1990) by Dhruva Mistry, beyond the walls is a Sculpture Garden, and in the grassy area adjacent, seats created by artist Christine Borland.

Country Surgeon Micro Museum

Cross over University Avenue and down the hill towards Byres Road. Immediately before reaching the junction is the Wolfson Medical building, where you can find a dedicated exhibition to Carluke based country doctor, James Bouglas (1798 – 1882). Learn about historical treatments, home surgery and reasons to feel cheered about modern medicine.

selection of historical medical implements


Continue through Botany Gate and soon you’ll arrive at the Zoology Museum. This is the go-to destination for everything eco. A cross section of the animal kingdom awaits, including antelope and elephants, rabbits and bats.

stuffed rabbitThere is also a little known live insect colony, carefully looked after by our curators and perfectly poised to satisfy any creepy crawly proclivities.

Kelvin Hall

Onwards, down and towards Argyle Street. You may briefly leave the enclaves of the University of Glasgow, but only temporarily as across the road is the latest addition to the University. Kelvin Hall – once famously the Transport Museum pre-Riverside, and Glasgow’s circus venue of choice – is a multi-purpose venue, home to Glasgow Life, The National Library of Scotland, and the University of Glasgow and The Hunterian.

Kelvin Hall looking to Glasgow University

This is where The Hunterian’s 1 million objects are being painstakingly transferred to. The climate controlled conditions ensure the preservation of some of our most delicate objects and art works. As well as a selection of items on public display, The Hunterian at Kelvin Hall also comprises lecture theatres, seminar rooms, and teaching labs where students can handle objects and examine paintings up close.

paintings hanging in storageIn one day you can visit these six individual venues each with their specialist collections. We also run a changing display at the University of Glasgow’s Dumfries campus, The Hunterian in the South. Let us know if you manage to visit them all!

Full opening time information.

Please note that all venues are free except for The Mackintosh House and temporary major art exhibitions. All venues offer lifts between floors. The Art Gallery is at the top of a steep slope.

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