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.
Violet Clarke

A School at War

  • 28 June — 25 November 2014 *on now

The British Schools Museum marks the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War with an ambitious exhibition that shows how this terrible conflict affected the British Schools, its scholars and teachers, and the town of Hitchin.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Normal Museum admission charges apply: £4.50 adult, £2.50 child; Family Tickets available. Group visits by arrangement

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.

Book publication - "Remembered with Pride"

  • 30 June — 31 December 2014 *on now

68 servicemen named on Hitchin War Memorial were former pupils of the Boys' British School, Hitchin. Jean M Handley has meticulously researched their personal and military lives, and deaths. The book is published by Hitchin Historical Society in conjunction with the British Schools Museum, and an exhibition "A School at War" at the museum.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Remembered with Pride

  • 13 November 2014 From 7:30pm

Jean Handley returns to talk about her superb book, including all the exciting developments since its publication. 7 p.m. for 7.30 p.m. start. Contact 01462 420144 www.hitchinbritishschools.co.uk

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets £5 including tea/coffee.

Remembered with Pride

  • 13 November 2014 From 7:30pm

The story of the 68 former pupils of the British School in Hitchin who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War. Jean Handley returns to talk about her superb book, including all the exciting developments since its publication. 7p.m. for 7.30 p.m. start.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5 including tea/coffee.

The Christmas Fair - Free entry.

  • 29 November 2014 10am-2:30pm

Homemade cakes and preserves, books, toys, jewellery, crafts, bric-a-brac and more. Museum Shop and Café open. Delicious bacon rolls, mice pies and mulled wine to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free of charge.

Stories with Santa at the British Schools Museum

  • 30 November 2014 11am-2pm

Mulled wine & mince pies on sale to keep out the chill

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Free entry

A Christmas Carol

  • 4 December 2014 From 6:30pm

Renowned raconteur Keith Baldwin returns to the museum by special request with readings from everybody's favourite Christmas tale. Enjoy Charles Dickens' atmospheric tale in a genuine Dickensian era setting. The perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit. 6p.m. for 6.30 p.m. start.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£10 with mulled wine and mince pies included! Numbers limited so advance booking recommended. Contact 01462 420144 www/britishschoolsmuseum.org.uk www.facebook.com/BritishSchoolsMuseum

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://home.btconnect.com/hitchinbritishschools/

On the last 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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