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Ragged School Museum

Things to do Mile End Free
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
 (© Ragged School Museum)
© Ragged School Museum
 (© Ragged School Museum)
© Ragged School Museum
 (© Ragged School Museum)
© Ragged School Museum
 (© Ragged School Museum)
© Ragged School Museum
 (© Ragged School Museum)
© Ragged School Museum
 (© Ragged School Museum)
© Ragged School Museum
 (© Ragged School Museum)
© Ragged School Museum

Time Out says

Ragged schools were an early experiment in public education: they provided tuition, food and clothes for destitute children. This one was the largest in London, and Dr Barnardo himself taught here. The Ragged School Museum is now a local museum of the East End which examines the experiences of the children who attended the school. As well as a complete mock-up of a ragged classroom, the museum also features an Edwardian kitchen equipped with utensils for visitors to handle. On the first Sunday of every month, visitors can attend a Victorian lesson reenactment. 

A new permanent exhibition, 'Ragged Children, Manded Lives', opened in October 2015, revealing the experience of a nineteenth-century East London childhood with images, objects and materials.



Address: 46-50
Copperfield Road
E3 4RR
Transport: Tube: Mile End
Price: Free
Opening hours: Wed-Thu 10am-5pm
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Users say (2)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

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While on the whole clearly aimed at kids, this quaint little museum based in an old Ragged School premises is a delight to visit. There's enough here for an hour or so stop off and it's nicely located just off the towpath of Regent's canal in the East End so can be combined with summers walk down the canal. It is however only open to the public outside working hours on the first Sunday of the month so you need to time it right! It's worth checking the website

There are plenty of boards charting the history and also hands-on stuff for kids including a classroom experience with one of the teams taking the role of a strict old Schoolmarm. Adults are allowed into this too and it's actually done pretty well and it was hilarious watching the kids reactions. There's a real charm about the place, so I'd say it's well worth dropping by.


This museum is above all else great for kids. The theory is that you take your children there and sign them up for one of the old ragged school lessons. These lessons are done as they would have been done in the actual ragged schools in the past. The teacher is dressed up in period clothing and the kids get to dress up to. I watched a lesson take place and the kids seemed to be having a genuinely great time and we're obviously learning a lot about history at the same time. Double win! Parents are also allowed to sit in the classroom so you don't have to abandon your kids all are welcome. And the most important thing is that this museum is completely free and so makes a great day out for the whole family.

There is also a small museum area on the entrance level, a shop and a cafe in the lower floor. It's aimed more at kids than adults and as an adult I'd read everything the museum had to offer within half an hour but if you've got kids this is a really great place to take them.

The Mile End park next to the museum is also a really nice park to walk through and has a couple of picnic tables right opposite the museum so why not take a picnic along and make a day of it. Perfect :-)

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