Titus: T. rex is King at Wollaton Hall Nottingham

 

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Families are in for a Roar-some time at Wollaton Hall from this Sunday!
 
Flying in for a visit (OK, I’m not sure about the flying bit – but did you know dinosaurs may have had feathers?!) is none other than the exhibition Titus: T-rex is King. An extraordinary world exclusive showcasing the first real Tyrannosaurus rex to be displayed in England for over a century.
 
I was invited along to the press launch to see up close and personal what visitors can expect when they visit the 4,000 square foot exhibition which explores the world of this titanic predator and his story.
 
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If you’ve visited the Grade I listed Elizabethan mansion, you may have been expecting to see the exhibit in the main hall, however, due to the length of the skeleton frame it has had to be constructed in one of the upstairs rooms at the Nottingham Natural History Museum.
 
You don’t have to wait long to see it either. Follow the arrows around the stunning hall and you’ll find him in the first room of the exhibition.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blown away by the size of the creature, you can walk around the skeleton to view it from every angle. I guarantee it doesn’t get less imposing. You can help but imagine trying to escape it in caveman times, you only need to look at the sheer size of it’s feet to practically feel the thud thud thud behind you. Unless you’re a sprinter, it probably would have been nigh on impossible, as we learned that they can move at a daunting 25 mph.
 
The exhibition is full of fascinating facts to entertain and inform the novice like me, who assumed its skin would be like an elephants (It wasn’t it was like a snake apparently), to the dino expert
 
We saw the difference in size of a baby dinosaur head to a full grown, and they also have the most incredible tech in the interactive room which allows you to create your own dinosaur on screen with just the wave of a hand. You can change the colour and features, which is great because as I pretty much said at the top of this, experts have a good idea what they looked like, but we don’t know 100%. You can discover how it lived and died, including 3D scans of its bones, and find out how its muscles structure worked.
 
 
 
 
The skeleton itself arrived at the hall in pieces, and was painstakingly put together by Dinosaur Conservator, Nigel Larkin.
 
Nigel has spent over 30 years working for museums in the UK and abroad, specialising in the excavation, conservation, curation and display of fossils and skeletal material. With advances in technology he, along with the other experts involved, have been able to learn more about the life and history of our enormous visitor.
 
For example, they found from one of its toes that it likely suffered from tuberculosis. There were also injuries from the result of fights! T-rex v T-rex, where the mighty creatures and broken bones which they could tell had re-healed.
 
Not all of the bones of our visitor are real however, 20% were discovered by expert palaeontologist, Craig Pfister in Montana, across a 12-meter area, the rest are replicas. What’s so important about it then? Well , the last real fossilised T.rex that came to the UK was in the early 20th century. Elements of the skeleton have been on view but not as a whole T.rex skeleton.
 
The exhibition follows on from the successful 2017 Dinosaurs of China, which was secured to the museum by Rachel Evans, the Museums Development Manager. The subsequent international success was the trigger that first prompted an enquiry about a rather special T.rex exhibition.
 
If you fancy exploring the legend of the T.rex and learning the truth behind the myths, tickets can be booked online directly from the Wollaton Hall website: https://wollatonhall.gigantic.com/titus-t-rex-is-king-exhibition-tickets
 
With covid measures in place, booking in advance is essential as a limited number of visitors will be admitted per time slot. With this in mind, I would recommend exploring the grounds of the hall to make the most of your entry fee. An Adult ticket will set you back £13, Children (under 160, students & concessions (over 65) are £8.75
 
By Tanya Louise
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Photos – Tanya Louise & Richard Newbold
 

 

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