The Ragged School Museum – Dr Barnardo’s Free School

Suitable for all age groups – on 3 floors – no lift

ragged school museum classroomSit up straight, don’t fidget, no talking.
Are your hands clean?
Are you ready to experience a lesson at The Ragged School Museum?

Yes –  then try to visit on the 1st Sunday in each month when you can take part in a 45 minute lesson, recite your tables and practise your handwriting on a slate.

In Dr Barnado’s time the class size would be 40 – 60 children, but now only 34 people can try the lesson so book your place as you arrive at the Museum.

Where: Ragged School Museum, 46-50 Copperfield Road, London E3 4R          0208 980 6405 
Admission: Free – Only open on Wednesday/Thursday, and on the first Sunday of each month
Facilities: Activities and crafts in school holidays, Victorian lessons 1st Sunday each month,
Small Shop  Small Cafe with crisps, chocolate bars and biscuits for sale, 
Website: Ragged School Museum

Schools use the museum to learn about Victorian life.  If your visit coincides with a group, there may be limited access to the Schoolroom.  Telephone the museum to check the best time to visit.

ragged school museum dress upThe museum is housed in the original warehouse that Dr Barnardo used to set up his free school in 1887. The ground floor has a display about his life and works. You can pretend to be one of his ‘ragged children’ by dressing up in old clothes similar to those that children would have worn’.

The Tower Hamlets Gallery has displays and artifacts about the history of the area. Opposite is a small shop where you can buy your own slate and other old fashioned school supplies.

A narrow staircase leads up to the reconstructed classroom complete with rows of desks and slates to write on. Look for the dunces hat near the picture of Queen Victorian. On the top floor is a recreated 1900 kitchen typical of those found in the local houses.

During school holidays, you can take part in a wide range of craft activities. While we were visiting, children were making drums and painting. In Victorian times the basement was the playground for all the children.  It is now used for school groups in term time – and is then transformed into a large under 5s play and activity area during school holidays.

ragged school museum under 5ragged school museum art





Getting There Ragged School Museum, 46-50 Copperfield Road, London E3 4R 
 situated next to Mile End Park on the towpath of the Regent’s Canal
Google see map or get directions

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