British School Museum


Building History
The British School Museum was founded in 1810 by William Wilshere with the current museum complex being made up of grade II listed school buildings. The original schoolroom was the first monitorial school for the sons of the poor in Hertfordshire. Teaching was based on Joseph Lancaster's methods of monitorial teaching. He developed a system in which large numbers of younger scholars could be taught by older scholars under the supervision of the master (for boys) or mistress (for girls). This method continued until the Revised Code of 1862 that brought in the Pupil Teacher method of teaching. The monitorial system was changed as it was the general consensus that having children teach other children, when they are not well educated themselves, proved to be problematic. The Pupil Teacher method involved an older scholar being given training and being paid to teach. The government hoped that this would increase the number of teachers in the future, using a system that could be described as an apprenticeship in teaching.
The school grew steadily and to such an extent that in 1837 a new schoolroom was built that could hold 300 boys. This was completed in 1838, and the original school in the converted malthouse then included an infants school as well as the girls'.
HM Inspector of Schools Matthew Arnold visited the school in 1852 and reinforced the 1849 recommendation of inspector J D Morrell that the boys' school would benefit from a new classroom. A new Gallery classroom for 110 pupils was completed in February 1854.

The British Museum is renowned for its paranormal activity, it is so regular, it is said to occur on a daily basis. Visitors have mentioned they have seen several Victorian children on the grounds, as well as footsteps and loud noises being heard from behind locked doors. One of the most active locations at the British Museum is the old Headmasters office, where members of the public and some of the After Dark Paranormal team have recorded things such as footsteps, items being moved by themselves and even a sighting of the Headmaster himself!
At After Dark Paranormal we are strong believers in "stone tape theory" to read about this please follow this link Stone Tape Theory

Taking into account the age of this historic building, we feel very optimistic about the experiences and fantastic activity that maybe possible at this very special venue.

We advise all guests attending to arrive by 20:45 to meet the team, and also have the chance to help yourself to light refreshments. The event will start with a short history tour of the buildings and this will be provided by the schools very own historian. Following the tour we will regroup and prepare for a night of ghost hunting at the infamous old school Hitchin.