British Schools Museum

British Schools Museum
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1810 to 2010 - the British Schools site in Hitchin is over 200 years old! Today the British Schools Museum celebrates the history of elementary education in Britain from 1798 to the 1960s.

The listed buildings include the only surviving Lancasterian School-room (1837) where ONE master taught 300 boys, and the Galleried Classroom (1853) for 110 boys. Also includes refurbished Edwardian and WW2/1950s classrooms and include examples of children's work. The Girls' and Infants school (1857) includes display areas, cafe and gift shop. Headmaster's House is a listed mid-Victorian house has been restored and furnished to the late Victorian period. Collection of needlework and samplers. Changing exhibitions.

Around the site there are Victorian toys to play with, and a Family Discovery Trail to explore this unique collection of buildings. Come and sit in the classrooms, use a dip pens. Children can dress up in pinafores, bonnets and caps to experience early school days!

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Venue Type:

Museum, Archive, Heritage site

Opening hours

Open to public between February half-term and end of November Tuesdays 10am - 4pm; Saturdays 10am - 1pm; Sundays 2pm - 5pm

Visit website for information on extra openings and special events.

Schools groups, clubs, societies and private groups are accommodated throughout the year by arrangement. Please telephone for details.

Admission charges

Admission:
£4.50 adults
£2.50 children (5 - 16 years)
Family tickets available.
Pre-booked group visits incl a Victorian lesson, or an extended talk on the history of elementary education. Other programmes by arrangement. Charges depend on catering options.

Getting there

Hitchin is reached from Stevenage (and A1M, junction 8) by the A602; from Luton or Letchworth by the A505. The Museum, in Queen Street is on the B656 running from the Three Moorhens roundabout on A602 to the Railway Station and the A505 Letchworth / Cambridge Road. The Railway station is on the main Kings Cross Great Northern line, and is exactly 1 mile (1.6km) from the British Schools Museum.
Long term car parking is at Woodside, on the B656 towards the railway station.

Links

Additional info

Regrettably the Victorian architects and builders did not cater for visitors with disabilities, but we have greatly improved accessibility by installing slopes and ramps where steps used to be. We regret that the Gallery Classroom is not accessible to wheelchairs. The Headmaster's House has one step to negotiate.

The Museum houses the Jill Grey Collection of Childhood and Educational Material. Around 35,000 items related to education of children from the 17th Century collected by Hitchin resident Jill Grey (one-time personal assistant to Frank Whittle). There have been many later additions to the museums resources acquired after the death of Jill Grey.

Collection details

Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • School Museum
  • Schoolroom Museum
  • Schools Museum
  • British Schools
  • British & Foreign Schools Society
  • Jill Grey Collection of Childhood and Education Memorabilia.
  • Benchmark Collection of childhood material.
  • Joseph Lancaster - education for the working poor
  • Monitorial Teaching
  • Lancasterian Schoolroom
  • Galleried Classroom
  • A unique collection of 19th and 20th Century Schoolrooms.
  • Museum of Victorian life and childhood - toys to play with.
  • Victorian School lessons for School groups.
  • Early elementary education and educationalists.
  • Educational, School Registers and Archives.
  • Victorian Toys
  • Postcards
  • Cartes de Visite
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Don't Lick the Wallpaper

  • 26 July — 27 November 2016

From mercury and mad-hatters to lead and lipstick the Victorian house was a dangerous place. Forget cosy cottages and grand estates - everyone was working hard to survive. Follow deadly chemicals through the house, dodging fire, famine and fatal fashions, but whatever you do, don't lick the wallpaper!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Usual admission charges apply. Contact jacky-birch@britishschoolsmuseum.org.uk or call 01462 420144.

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

2016 Opening Times and Admissions Charges at the British Schools Museum

  • 16 February — 22 November 2016 *on now

Open for public visits in 2016 from Tuesday 16th February until Tuesday 22nd November (incl.) o Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ,Sundays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ( N.B. last entry time for the museum is 30 minutes before closing time but the shop and cafe (free entry) will be open until the published closing times. We recommend you allow at least 2 hours for your visit. On the 1st Sunday of each month you can enjoy a Victorian lesson at no extra charge. Lessons start at 2.30 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. - don't be late! These sessions are very popular and advance booking is recommended. There are activities for all ages on the 3rd Saturday of each month, also at no extra charge. Check out the Events page for further details. Please check our website before visiting for the latest news and special events: www.britishschoolsmusuem.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£4.50 for adults, £2.50 for children between 5 & 17 (under 5s free). Discunts available for family groups.

Education and Social Mobility

  • 14 July 2016 From 7pm

Collections intern Helen Tyler charts the effects of social mobility linked to improvements in public education in the Victorian period. Doors open at 7 p.m. , talks begin at 7.30 p.m.

Admission

Tickets £5 each ( advance booking recommended) including tea/coffee and biscuits on arrival.

Hitchin on the Somme

  • 22 July 2016 From 7pm

Marking the involvement of the Hertfordshire Regiment at the Battle of the Somme 1916. Further information from www.britishscholllsmuseum.org.uk. Email jacky.birch@britishjschoolsmuseum.org.uk or call 01462 420144

Admission

£5

Sir Geoffrey de Havilland

  • 23 July 2016 From 2pm

Mike trained at the de Havilland aeronautical school as an engineering apprentice. He worked for de Havilland aircraft company in the early fifties. He then became editor of Flight 1964-1981. He was editor-in-chief of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Vice President of the de Havilland museum 1982-2012 and is a trustee of the Geoffrey de Havilland Flying Foundation. For additional information www.britishschoolsmuseum.org.uk Email jacky.birch@britishschoolsmuseum.org.uk Tel: 01462 430144

Admission

£5

Children's Discovery Day

  • 27 July 2016 10am-3:30pm

It's the first week of our new exhibition so why not try some activities related to the perils of the Victorian home. See the website www.britishschoolsmuseum.org.uk or go directly to BSMEvents.yapsody.com Please note the museum is only open for this pre-booked, timed children's session on this day, not for regular museum visits. Sessions take place in the boys' school at the top of the slope.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

£4 per child aged 4 and above. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult, but adult admission is free.

Choir Concert by City Chorus

  • 27 July 2016 From 7:30pm

Letchworth City Chorus bring the West End and more to Hitchin with an exhilarating set of tunes from Les Mis., Phantom and other smash hit musicals. You will be humming along and tapping your toes, you may even be dancing and singing along.! Come and hear North Herts. foremost Community Choir singing some of musicals' Biggest numbers! You never know you might want to join them!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Cash Bar. Admission £10.

Thursday Drop-in

  • 28 July 2016 11am-2pm

'Don't Lick the Wallpaper' sticker trail & wallpaper collage. Please note this session takes place in the infants' school ( ground floor space that includes reception/meeting room, the exhibition gallery and discovery room). The rest of the museum will be shut during this session and only adults accompanying children will be admitted. www.britishschoolsmuseum.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.50 per child with no charge for adults. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Children's Discovery Day: Paper Play.

  • 3 August 2016 10am-3:30pm

Different trail or activity every week. Pre-booking essential. See our website or go directly to BSMEvents.yapsody.com

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£4 for children aged 4 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Adult admission free.

Thursday Drop-in.

  • 4 August 2016 11am-2pm

Collecting trail and stained glass window making - (paper based activity). The rest of the museum will be closed for regular museum visits on this day.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.50 per child with no charge for adults. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Children's Discovery Day - Crafty Capers.

  • 10 August 2016 10am-3:30pm

See our website or go directly to BSMEvents.yapsody.com. Pre-booking essential.

Admission

£4 for children aged 4 and above. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Adult admission is free.

Thursday Drop In

  • 11 August 2016 11am-2pm

Drop-in between 11.00 & 14.00. Session takes place in the Infants' School and the rest of the museum will be shut during this session.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.50 per child with no charge for adults. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Children's Discovery Day

  • 17 August 2016 10am-3:30pm

Today we will be trying out all sorts of science-based activities that can be done with everyday materials relating to air, flying, balancing and seeing. We also hope to get a bit of slime in. Sessions at 10.00 - 12.30 & 13.00 to 15.30. Pre-booking essential. See our website or go directly to BSMEvents.yapsody.com The rest of the museum is shut during these sessions.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

£4 per child aged 4 or above. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Adult admission free.

Thursday Drop-in.

  • 18 August 2016 11am-2pm

Drop-in session between 11.00 and 14.00. The rest of the museum will be shut.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

£2.50 per child with no charge for adults. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Children's Discovery Day

  • 24 August 2016 10am-3:30pm

Sessions at 10 - 12.30 & 13.00 - 15.30. See our website or go directly to BSMEvents.yapsody.com

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

£4 for children aged 4 and above. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult but adult admission is free.

Thursday Drop-in

  • 25 August 2016 11am-2pm

Sticker Trail and Draw your own Portrait. Drop-in session between 11.00 - 14.00 in the Infants' school. The rest of the museum will be shut.

Admission

£2.50 per child with no charge for adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Victorian Schooldays at the British Schools Museum

School classes dress as Victorian children for a sample Victorian school lesson, then visit the museum room with worksheets to work with displays of toys and home life. They then sit and discuss "treasures" with a "Victorian" lady or gentleman. Wednesdays and Thursdays are preferred days, from 9 or 9:30 am to around 1pm. Space available for pupils bringing packed lunches.

How to obtain

Please telephone the Education department on 01462 420144 to determine availability, and you will be sent a data pack and form.

Sundays with the Family

http://www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

On the first Sunday of each month, enjoy events specifically for families to enjoy together at the British Schools Museum, for example experience a Victorian school lesson.
Times vary according to the event so check the website for specific details.

How to obtain

Admission fees apply to the museum. Check the website for details of specific events and extra charges. Booking is essential for most events so call the museum on 01462 42014 in advance.

Getting there

Hitchin is reached from Stevenage (and A1M, junction 8) by the A602; from Luton or Letchworth by the A505. The Museum, in Queen Street is on the B656 running from the Three Moorhens roundabout on A602 to the Railway Station and the A505 Letchworth / Cambridge Road. The Railway station is on the main Kings Cross Great Northern line, and is exactly 1 mile (1.6km) from the British Schools Museum.
Long term car parking is at Woodside, on the B656 towards the railway station.

British Schools Museum
Queen Street
Hitchin
Hertfordshire
SG4 9TS
England

Website

www.britishschoolsmuseum.org.uk

E-mail

All enquiries

admin@hitchinbritishschools.org.uk

Telephone

01462 420144

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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