Museum restorers get message from the past

Rachel Parle

Rachel Parle

First published in

EDUCATION officer Rachel Parle was thrilled when Victorian graffiti was discovered during museum restoration work.

The writing in silver paint on a beam high in the rafters at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in Parks Road reads ‘This roof was painted by G. Thicke and J Randall, April 1864.’ It was uncovered by contractors who are working on a year-long project to fix the museum’s 150-year-old leaky roof. Ms Parle said: “The graffiti was discovered by accident, which is a lovely thing.

“It is really exciting. It is a little message from the past. It is a lovely feeling to find something we didn’t know was there – and lovely to see their names.”

The renovation work, which involves stripping and cleaning thousands of glass roof panels, does not involve any painting, so the original paintwork will stay.

The painters’ message, which is high up on the rafters and cannot be seen without the scaffolding, will also remain in place.

The museum in Parks Road is closed to the public throughout 2013 and is due to re-open in February 2014.

For updates follow the museum’s blog at

Related links

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:58pm Fri 19 Apr 13

oxchris says...

I hope these vandals are tracked down and brought to justice.
I hope these vandals are tracked down and brought to justice. oxchris
  • Score: 0

4:43pm Sat 20 Apr 13

Isawyoucoming says...

Was the word soak also up there
Was the word soak also up there Isawyoucoming
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree