British Schools Museum
  • 41/42 Queen Street
    SG4 9TS
The historic British Schools Museum on Queen Street in Hitchin provides information and entertainment to visitors from around the UK and the world in the heart of the town. The buildings were rescued from possible demolition in 1990 after the original school closed in 1969, more than 150 years after the first school on the site. Now the historic listed buildings house an impressive collection of 47,000 items.

British Schools Museum provides insight into 200 years of education

The imposing British Schools Museum on Hitchin’s Queen Street houses 47,000 items that tell the story of a town, a school and an education system dating back 27 years before Queen Victoria took the throne.

Nowadays, local primary school children often visit to experience a Victorian education, writing sand or on slate. There’s also the Headmaster's house, showing home life in the late 19th century and more modern classrooms give the feel of life during wartime.

The museum also has a dedicated Exhibition Room, with a regularly changing programme of temporary exhibitions. In the recent past, such diverse subjects as Sir Henry Bessemer, the Pirton Knitted Village and the First World War have been featured and the museum plans to expand exhibition work in the future.

“You'll be amazed at what there is to see and do here. Many people come expecting to while away a spare hour and end up staying for two or three hours and then coming back again to see it all" said Andy Gibbs, Museum Manager.

"Many people still living in the town remember the days in the 1960s when it was still a functioning school, but there is so much more to the museum than that. As our profile and level of activity increases more and more people are realising what a treasure we have here right in the heart of Hitchin.”

British Schools Museum offers:

  • A fascinating journey through 200 years of schooldays and childhood
  • A hands-on insight into social history
  • Resources for family history research
  • A fascinating range of displays and exhibitions
  • Cultural events and family activities
  • Café and gift shop

We are open from Tuesday the 17th of February to Tuesday the 24th of November at the following times:*

Tuesdays 10am – 4pm
Saturdays 10am – 1pm
Sundays 2pm – 5pm

* NB: 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. 

Check our website for news about extra opening during school holidays.

There is a small admission charge: £4:50 for adults, £2:50 for children between 5 and 17 (under 5s free). Discounts are available for family groups. We recommend you allow two hours for your visit.

On the first Sunday of each month you can enjoy a Victorian lesson at no extra charge! Lessons start at 2:30 & 3:30pm – don’t be late! These sessions are very popular, advance booking is recommended.

There are activity sessions for all ages on the third Saturday of each month, also at no extra charge. Check out the events page for further details.

Contact British Schools Museum

Please call British Schools Museum on 01462 420144 for further information and to find out more about your visit or visit

 Please remember to mention The Best of Hitchin when contacting British Schools Museum – social history on our doorstep.

 © The Best of Hitchin

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Trust in the British Schools Museum

The Hitchin British Schools Trust has ambitious plans to secure the future of the British Schools Museum focussing initially on the development of the Grade 2 listed Girls’ and Infants’ School site with... Read article
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Loved And Local (In Category) 2014