Exploratory (museum)

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Exploratory (museum) is located in Bristol
Exploratory (museum)
Temple Meads, Bristol
Established 1987
Dissolved 14 September 1999
Location Bristol
Coordinates 51°26′56″N 2°35′01″W / 51.4489°N 2.5835°W / 51.4489; -2.5835
Type Science museum

The Exploratory was the first[citation needed] science museum in the UK located in Bristol, it was established in 1987 by Richard Gregory and George Ferguson (Mayor of Bristol).[1][2][3][4][5][6]

From 1987 to 1989 it was housed in the Victoria Rooms which were designed by Charles Dyer and was built between 1838 and 1842 in Greek revival style.

In 1989 it moved to Bristol's historic old railway station, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It is the world's earliest surviving railway terminus, which was completed in 1840 and includes the passenger shed and the adjoining former engine and carriage shed. It is over 220 ft long (67 m) with timber and iron roof spans of 72 ft (22 m), this Grade I listed building[7] has been nominated as a World Heritage Site.[8] The building later became the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum.

The successor to the Exploratory was At-Bristol which opened in 2000 at a new site as part of the regeneration of the historical Floating Harbour. The project was funded with £44.3 million from the National Lottery, Millennium Commission, South West of England Regional Development Agency, and a further £43.4 million from commercial partners (including a controversial donation from Nestlé) and Bristol City Council.


  1. ^ Reed Business Information (17 November 1983). New Scientist. Reed Business Information. pp. 484–. ISSN 0262-4079. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Barry Fox (23 December 1989). "Review of 'The Exploratory'". New Scientist. 
  3. ^ Braddick, Oliver (26 May 2010). "Richard Gregory obituary". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.exploratory.org.uk/history/
  5. ^ "UWE awards honorary degree to George Ferguson". 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  6. ^ http://www.exploratory.org.uk/about/thanks.htm
  7. ^ "Bristol Old Station, Temple Meads". Images of England. Retrieved 2007-03-13. 
  8. ^ "British Empire and Commonwealth Museum". English Heritage. Retrieved 2007-03-13. 

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