Ragged School Museum

Ragged School Museum information

London , England
46-50 Copperfield Rd
Getting there
Tube: Mile End
More information
Opening hours
10am-5pm Wed & Thu, 2-5pm 1st Sun of month
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Both adults and children are inevitably charmed by this combination of mock Victorian schoolroom – with hard wooden benches and desks, slates, chalk, inkwells and abacuses – re-created East End kitchen and social history museum below. ‘Ragged’ was a Victorian term used to refer to pupils’ usually torn, dirty and dishevelled clothes.

The museum celebrates the legacy of Dr Thomas Barnardo, who founded this school for destitute East End children in the 1870s. The school closed in 1908 but you can experience what it would have been like on the first Sunday of the month, when a Victorian lesson in which ‘pupils’ (adults and children alike) are taught reading, writing and ‘rithmetic by a strict school ma’am in full Victorian regalia called Miss Perkins. It takes place at 2.15pm and 3.30pm (suggested donation £2). There’s also a tiny towpath cafe and shop where you can pick up your own slate and chalk. Friendly staff are on hand to pass on plenty of local information and background.