National History Museum dinosaur exhibition to go on display at Peterborough Cathedral including moving T. rex

Peterborough Cathedral is to display the Natural History Museum’s touring exhibition T. rex: The Killer Question during the summer of 2020.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 10:34 am
The T. rex. Photo: National History Museum

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.

Among 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?

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It is planned that the exhibition will be on show from July 20 to August 31 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.”

Among 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, email [email protected]

To find out more about sponsorship opportunities and the equipment and skills needed for the installation, email [email protected]

Information is also on the cathedral’s website at or you can follow #trexcathedral on social media.


. The dinosaur models in the exhibition have been made created for the Natural History Museum using detailed research from their collection of dinosaur bones and fossils discovered in various parts of the world. For more information about the Natural History Museum’s dinosaur collection visit:

. 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.

. 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 (eight inches) long and its bite was around three 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.