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:*
We (3 adults) arrived less than 40min before closing, but decided to go ahead with the tour. We were told it would be a bit of a rush and we were the only ones there. The guide and narrator was really...
Excellent visit for both young and old. School children from six years of age upwards. Very educational.
A great insight into a past eduction. Maybe it should be adopted today particularly the Maths.
Amusing afternoon. Very enjoyable and would definitely recommend.
No matter how well you think you know the Museum and however many times you've visited, there's always something new to discover. It's staffed and maintained almost entirely by volunteers, and a friendlier...
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...