LONDON - A museum charting the history of science through a collection of antique items of apparatus has reopened in Cambridge after a 10-month refit.

The Whipple Museum of the History of Science holds more than 10,000 scientific instruments and rare books.

It includes a microscope used by Charles Darwin and a six-planet “grand orrery” - a model of the solar system - dating from about 1750.

Collections manager Claire Wallace described it as a “magical space”. The museum, in Free School Lane, was founded in 1944 when Robert Stewart Whipple, a founding fellow of the Institute of Physics, donated his collection to Cambridge University.

Housed in the Grade II-listed former Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, the building closed in July 2018 for structural repairs, installing new flooring and for conservation work to the roof. It contains instruments used in astronomy dating from the 17th to 19th Centuries It contains instruments of astronomy, navigation and mathematics - as well as globes, sundials and telescopes dating from the 17th to the 19th Centuries. Rare books, including Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica and Christiaan Huygens’s Horologium Oscillatorium, detailing the invention of the pendulum clock, are also held.