Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford)

The Pitt Rivers is an amazing museum in Oxford.

Situated in South Parks Road, it is entered through the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, having been built in1884 as an extension to the back wall.

Augustus Lane Henry Fox (later known as Pitt Rivers) was schooled at Sandhurst and commissioned into the Grenadier Guards at 18. He fought in the Crimean War, and wrote the standard manual on rifle training.

He numbered Charles Darwin and T. H. Huxley as his friends, and was deeply impressed by Darwin's "Origin of Species", which led him to formulate a theory of the evolution of culture.

This is the subject of the museum.

There are spears and canoes; masks and skulls; necklaces carved from the bones of whales; trumpets and drums; toys and games - the list is endless.

The poet James Fenton, confronted with the Pitt Rivers, wrote "You have come upon the fabled lands where myths go when they die".

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