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.

100 Years of Learning with Ladybird

  • 2 July — 24 November 2015 *on now

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.

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.

A season of talks at the British Schools Museum

  • 10 September — 10 December 2015

10th Sept: Location, Location: Uluru to Dubai with Joy and Barry Hall.
8th October: A Year by the Thames with Barbara Foster. An illustrated talk about Barbara's year long walk from the source of the Thames to the London Barrier. Expect a bit of history, some culture, wildlife, and snippets of intriguing information.
12th November: The Collector: The amazing Jill Grey with Andy Gibbs.
10th December; The History of Christmas : Emily Shepperson will be telling the story of how our Christmas customs came to be. From meaty mince pies to toppling trees and the year Christmas was cancelled, enjoy some unexpected truths and some seasonal objects to illustrate.
Doors open 7 p.m.. Talks begin: 7.30 p.m.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets £5 each or book for all four for just £15 - includes ta/coffee on arrival. For more information contact 01462 420144. Website: www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days: The British Schools Museum

  • 12 — 13 September 2015

There will be a variety of events over the weekend which includes:
-Lancasterian School Room for 300 boys and one master (1837)
-Rare Gallery Classroom (1853)
-Edwardian Classroom (1905)
-WW11 Classroom and Air Raid Shelter
-Family and Children's Trails
-Try sand trays, dip pens, slates, toys

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/the-british-schools-museum

Teach your Parents

  • 19 September 2015 10am-1pm

Find out how one school teacher could teach up to 300 pupils on their own, then teach your adults and friends the same way. Mini-Monitorial Lessons at 11.00 and 12.00 in the Monitorial Schoolroom. Ideal for younger visitors and their adults but all are welcome.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Normal Museum admission charges. Contact 01462 420144. Website: www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Grandparents' Schooldays

  • 17 October 2015 10am-1pm

Find out what school was like in the 1950s and 1960s. Ideal for younger visitors and their adults but all are welcome.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Normal Museum admission charges. Contact 01462 420144. Website: www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Bats, Cats and Rats

  • 28 October 2015 10:30am-2pm

Drop in for some spooky make and play Halloween fun.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Cost £4 per child. An adult must accompany children. Adults Free Admission. Contact; 01462 420144. Website: www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Family Fun Art Show

  • 21 November 2015 10am-1pm

We provide the paper, pencils, crayons and inspiring surroundings and objects, you supply the creativity and let's see what wonderful works of art we can create. Ideal for younger visitors and their adults but all are welcome.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children
  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges. Contact 01462 420144. Website: www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

Christmas Fair

  • 28 November 2015 10am-3pm

A huge range of stalls, food, fun and Christmas cheer. perfect timing for all your Christmas gifts and stocking fillers.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free admission. Contact 01462 420144. Website: www.BritishSchoolsMuseum.org.uk

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.

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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