Dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum are heading to the Cathedral, summer 2020

Thursday 3 October

Peterborough Cathedral has announced today (3 October) that it is to display the Natural History Museum’s touring exhibition, T. rex: The Killer Question, during the summer of 2020.

The display will be installed in the early sixteenth century New Building at the east end of the Cathedral and is made up of 14 dinosaurs, nine of which are animatronic models.

Amongst the collection is a moving, three-quarter size T. rex, as well as life-size T. rex skeleton and a 12-metre-long static model of the creature. Models of other dinosaurs, such as Saurornitholestes, Ankylosaurus, Deinonychus and Edmontosaurues, will also be shown alongside T. rex for comparison, so that visitors can consider the ‘killer question’: Was T. rex a ferocious hunter or a mere scavenger?

It is planned that the exhibition will be on show from 20th July to 31st August and tickets will go on sale in the new year. The Cathedral’s regular programme of services will carry on as usual.

The Dean of Peterborough, the Very Revd Chris Dalliston said:

“We are very excited to be bringing this world class exhibition to Peterborough. People asked how we could possibly follow the wow-factor of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft, or Luke Jerram’s amazing Moon and Earth artworks in the Cathedral, but I think this will be a fitting sequel. It will not only be a great day out for families during the summer holidays - children especially love and are fascinated by dinosaurs. But it will also be an opportunity to build on the environmental themes we have explored in previous exhibitions – in this case the diversity of species and how vulnerable to extinction many are. These are big questions about our world and the responsibility we have as human beings to care for it and protect it.

“It will certainly be a logistical challenge to install 14 dinosaurs in our ancient building and we are asking for help from companies and individuals who may have the equipment or skills needed to enable this remarkable project to happen.”

Amongst the list of items needed for the installation, which will be supervised by the Natural History Museum, are an air compressor, pallet trucks, a lifting frame or gantry, a forklift truck and driver, a telehandler and a pair of two metre step ladders. There are also opportunities for companies to sponsor individual dinosaurs and to be associated with publicity for the exhibition.

Alex Burch, Head of Exhibitions, Learning and Outreach at The Natural History Museum said,

“We are thrilled to be bringing T. rex: The Killer Question to Peterborough Cathedral. We hope that the exhibition will be able to educate and entertain an entirely new audience about dinosaurs, specifically the awe-inspiring T. rex. It is our hope that these exciting animals that once roamed our planet can inspire a love of the natural world and motivate people to protect our shared earth.”

To make sure you receive an email alert as soon as there is more news about the exhibition, please email t.rex@peterborough-cathedral.org.uk.

To find out more about sponsorship opportunities and the equipment and skills are needed for the installation, please email operations@peterborough-cathedral.org.uk.

Information is also on the Cathedral’s website at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/t.rex or you can follow the hashtag #trexcathedral on social media.


Additional Information

About the exhibition

  • For more information about the Natural History Museum’s dinosaur collection please visit https://www.nhm.ac.uk/our-science/collections/palaeontology-collections/dinosaur-collection.html
  • T.rex: The Killer Question was last displayed in the UK at Longleat in the summer of 2018. It is currently on show in Switzerland.
  • Entry to the exhibition at Peterborough Cathedral will be by ticket and these are expected to go on sale in early 2020. The Cathedral itself remains free to enter and tickets are needed for the exhibition only.

About T. rex

  • T. rex is short for Tyrannosaurus rex, which means ‘tyrant lizard king’.
  • T. rex lives up to its reputation as one of the most fearsome animals of all time. Its powerful jaws had 60 teeth, each one up to 20cm (8 inches) long and its bite was around 3 times as powerful than that of a lion.
  • Bite marks found on Triceratops and Edmontosaurus fossil bones show that Tyrannosaurus could crunch through bone. Analysis of fossilised Tyrannosaurus dung shows that it contained the bones of its prey. But was it a hunter or a scavenger? Visit the exhibition to find out more and see what you think.
  • Text © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, 2019. All rights reserved.
  •  For more information see https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/dino-directory/tyrannosaurus.html

About the Natural History Museum

  • The Natural History Museum exists to inspire a love of the natural world and unlock answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet. It is a world-leading science research centre, and through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling issues such as food security, eradicating diseases and managing resource scarcity.
  • The Natural History Museum is the most visited natural history museum in Europe and the top science attraction in the UK; we welcome around five million visitors each year and our website receives over 850,000 unique visitors a month. People come from around the world to enjoy our galleries and events and engage both in-person and online with our science and educational activities through innovative programmes and citizen science projects.
  • T. rex: The Killer Question is one of the Museum’s three touring exhibitions that include animatronic moving dinosaurs.
  • Dippy, The Natural History Museum’s iconic Diplodocus cast will be on display at Norwich Cathedral from 11th July to 31st October 2020 as the final venue of Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure that has visited seven further venues across the UK.

About Peterborough Cathedral

  • Peterborough Cathedral is widely recognised as one of the finest Norman cathedrals in England. It is the burial place of Katharine of Aragon and also Mary, Queen of Scots, who was later reinterred at Westminster Abbey. The Cathedral is a great place to visit for all ages. Explorer Backpacks are available for young children, and Monks, Mischief & Marauders, an activity book for older children, packed full of fun facts and puzzles about the Cathedral’s past, is available to buy. Details are at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/children.aspx . You can also download a free interactive app, with augmented reality animations for use on mobile phones and tablets. Just search for Gamar Ltd in your app store, then select the Peterborough Cathedral Trail.
  • The Cathedral is a great place to visit for all ages. Explorer Backpacks are available for young children, and Monks, Mischief & Marauders, an activity book for older children full of fun facts and puzzles about the Cathedral, is available to buy. You can also download a free interactive app, with augmented reality animations for use on mobile phones and tablets. Just search for Gamar Ltd in your app store, then select the Peterborough Cathedral Trail. More details are at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/children.aspx.
  • In 2018, its 900th anniversary year, the Cathedral hosted Tim Peake’s Spacecraft, presented by Samsung and Science Museum Group, having won a national competition to be the eight venue on its UK tour. Over 170,000 visitors came to see the spacecraft at Peterborough during its 12 week showing.
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