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The British Schools Museum is set in a unique set of school buildings that developed on the site between 1837 and 1905. The classrooms are open to the public and are furnished and equipped to show the history of elementary education from 1810 to 1969 - when the last children moved away from the site. Here young and old can enjoy going back to school, to a place where “Learning Comes to Life”.
What to See and Do:
Guided tours by experienced guides are available - or you can make your own way around with a tour leaflet. The Discovery Trail is for younger people. This is a hands-on museum. Try writing in a sand tray or on a slate, or dipping your pen into an inkwell, or playing with the early toys, games and puzzles.
The restored Headmasters' house was fully opened to visitors in April 2006 after many years of work by volunteers. It is now furnished in the style of the 1880s - to show how Mr Fitch, a famed Master of the Boys British School, Hitchin, would have known it.
SCHOOL CLASS VISITS to the Victorian School Experience at the museum are usually arranged for Wednesdays and Thursdays but other days may be available.
A shorter programme is available on Tuesdays to schools who combine their day in Hitchin with a visit to Hitchin Museum. Victorian Schoolday and World War II Evacuee Experiences are also offered. The new Monitorial Schoolroom lesson is proving very popular.
All School visits need to be booked well in advance.
GROUP VISITS of between 10 and 45 people can be accommodated by arrangement. “A Taste of Victorian Lessons” includes an introductory talk a guided tour and a taught lesson in the Gallery Classroom. In place of the lesson, an in-depth talk on the history of the British Schools and those who served as Masters can be arranged.
Group visits are charged at £8.50 per person. Light refreshments are included. Groups should allow at least 2, and preferably 3, hours for their visit. Since the Galleriy classroom has a maximum capacity of 25, larger groups are divided into two ‘classes’.
Accessibility: Most of the site is accessible to wheelchairs, but one classroom – the 1853 Gallery Classroom – is not currently fully accessible. There are at least three steps to reach the classroom. Entry to the headmaster’s house is over a few small steps and the first floor is accessed via a narrow curved staircase.
The group visit programme can be varied to enable visitors with disabilities to fully experience the site and understand its history.
Please telephone to discuss your needs.
Group visits need to be booked in advance for days or evenings. Please contact:
The British Schools Museum,
41/42 Queen Street,
Telephone: (01462) 429244