Victorian classroom

At the heart of the Ragged School Museum is our unique classroom, where each year some 16,000 children come to experience a glimpse of Victorian life. The room has been recreated in one of Dr Barnardo’s original classrooms, restored as it was in the 1870s when the great social reformer, newly arrived from Dublin, set up his free school for poor children in the East End of London.

The classroom is equipped with authentic and well-used school desks, slate writing boards and chalks, blackboards and easels and even dunce hats.

As well as the classroom, we have reconstructed a domestic kitchen, as it would have been in the year 1900, complete with utensils and artefacts for our visitors to handle.

Both rooms are in use on a daily basis to provide today’s children with an insight into the lives of their great great great grandparents. The classroom is also set aside once a month as part of our Sunday Open House activities for anyone, no matter their age, to experience a lesson centred around the three R’s. All our lessons are led by an actor in full Victorian costume.

The museum is also a popular and evocative location for film and fashion shoots. Please visit our venue hire page if you’re interested in finding out more about using this space.