British Schools Museum

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.
British Schools Museum
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Study area icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

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!

Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/BritishSchoolsMuseum

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.

Jill Grey Exhibition

  • 17 February — 7 July 2015 *on now

Jill Grey : Life & Legacy: Collector, Curator, Code breaker, Correspondent and Campaigner: A remarkable life, a remarkable legacy.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£4.50 adults; £2.50 children ( 5 - 17 years old); under 5's free. Discounts available for family groups.

100 Years of Learning with Ladybird

  • 2 July — 24 November 2015

From 2nd July to 24th November 2015. Come and celebrate the centenary of these much loved and iconic books at the museum where learning comes to life. Contact 01462 420144. www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Usual admission charge £4.50 adults, £2.50 for children between 5 and 17 (under 5s free) Discounts available for family groups.

Dr Who Exhibition

  • 15 — 23 August 2015

See life size models of characters such as: The Ood, Dalek, Zygon, Sonatran and more in the Lancastrian Schoolroom. Sorry NO PARKING and the rest of the Museum will be closed during this time. Contact 01462 420144 www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Entrance fee: £2 for all.

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.

Opening Times at the British Schools Museum in 2015

  • 17 February — 24 November 2015 *on now

Opening times: Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Last entry time for the museum is 30 minutes before closing time, but the shop and café (free entry) will be open until the published closing times. Check our website for news about extra opening during school holiday: www.britishschollmuseum.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Small admission charge: £4.50 adults; £2.50 children between 5 & 17; under 5s free. Discounts available for family groups. 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, advance booking is recommended. There are activity sessions for all ages on the 3rd Saturday of each month also at no extra charge. Check the 'Events' page for further details.

Special Easter Holiday Trail

  • 28 March 2015 10am-1pm

Come and see what you can find. Available during normal opening hours at no extra cost. Contact 01462 420144. www.britishschoolsmuseum.org.uk.u

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Museum admission fee only. No extra charge.

Animal Capers

  • 18 April 2015 10am-1pm

Themed activities during regular opening hours at the British Schools Museum at no additional cost. Something different every month.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

No additional cost - entry fee to Museum only.

May Day Celebrations at the British Schools

  • 4 May 2015 10:30am-12:30pm

Maypole and Country Dancing plus a visit by Offley Morris Men. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Admission Free. Contact 01462 420144 www.hitchinbritishschools.co.uk

Doll being unpacked from box

Behind the Scenes at the Museum

  • 14 May 2015 7-9pm

Join us for a rare chance to go behind the scenes of the British Schools Museum and explore our collections up close.
Take a tour around our stores, see experts in action and have a go at being a curator.
Also take the opportunity to see how your thoughts could shape the future of the British Schools Museum.

Refreshments available from cash bar.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

http://www.britishschoolsmuseum.co.uk/events

Nursery Rhymes

  • 16 May 2015 10am-1pm

Themed activities during regular opening hours at no additional cost with something different every month.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

No additional cost over and above admission fee to Museum.

A Victorian Child.

  • 28 May 2015 10:30am-2pm

On Thursday 28th May between 10.30 a.m. and 2 p.m. (last admission 1 p.m.) Try some washing and cleaning in our Victorian house. Knitting and games that children played in the past. Even go back to school with pen and ink and slates! For more information contact 01462 420144. www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

£4 per child. An adult must accompany children. Adults free admission.

Sample the Samplers

  • 20 June 2015 10am-1pm

Themed activity during regular opening hours at no additional cost with something different every month.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

No additional charge - usual admission fee to Museum.

The Life and Legacy of Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin

  • 2 July 2015 From 7pm

Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin - one of the most fascinating characters of the Russian Revolution. 7 p.m for 7.30 p.m. start. Contact: 01462 420144. www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£5 including tea/coffee

Where the Working Boats Went

  • 9 July 2015 From 7:30pm

Drama and Song presented by "Life and Times". Licensed Bar. 7.30 p.m. for 8 p.m. start.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£8 from Hitchin Festival Box Office: 01462 453335 or British Schools Museum: 01462 420144. www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Toys and Games

  • 18 July 2015 10am-1pm

Themed activities during regular opening hours at no additional cost with something different every month.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

No additional charge - museum admission fee only.

Wednesday School Holiday Children's Activities.

  • 22 July — 26 August 2015

Drop in between 11.10 a.m. and 3 p.m. with last admission 2 p.m. Please note the museum is open on these days only for the children's activities, not for regular museum visits and there will be no Saturday activity session in August 2015.
Wednesday 22nd July: Ladybird Larks (100 years of Ladybird books)
Wednesday 28th July: Paper Play
Wednesday 5th August: Educating Teddy
Wednesday 12th August: Crafty Capers
Wednesday 26th August: Be creative with Science.
For more details about any of these sessions contact 01462 420144 www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Cost is £3.50 for children aged 4 and above. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult, but adult admission is free.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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