In 1889, N M Rothschild, the First Baron Rothschild, gave his son Walter an unusual 21st birthday present - money and land on which to build his own museum. Walter's interest in natural history, evident from an early age, led to the creation of one of the greatest natural history collections ever assembled by one man.
Lord Walter Rothschild died in 1937, and bequeathed the Museum and its collections to the Trustees of the British Museum. The Trustees were responsible for the natural history collections until 1963 when The Natural History Museum - then called the British Museum (Natural History) - became a separate institution. As part of The Natural History Museum, Rothschild's collections are now known as The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, Tring.