Welcome to Wilderspin School


The Wilderspin National School was built in 1844 and was championed by the educational pioneer and teacher Samuel Wilderspin who designed, equiped and taught in the school.

The school closed in 1978 and fell into disrepair.  Restoration of the School was completed in 2009 and now stands as a celebration of the life and work of Samuel Wilderspin, for the benefit of the people of Barton upon Humber, North Lincolnshire and elsewhere.

The school is a family-friendly museum that welcomes visitors of all ages to experience a slice school life in a bygone age. Located in Barton-upon-Humber, the school museum offers, through role-play, hands-on exhibits and talks, an authentic and memorable experience of teaching in the 19th and 20th centuries.



Ted Lewis Guided Trails

Join the Ted Lewis Group for a guided tour of landmarks in the town associated with the author.  Tour starts at 11am from the Wilderspin National School.  Meet in the Old School Canteen coffee shop from 10.30am.  £3

Behind Closed Doors – Heritage Open Days

A rare opportunity to look inside some of Barton’s interesting buildings and sites as part of Barton Civic Society’s Heritage Open Days programme – including the former Primitive Methodist Chapel (1867) now the Joseph Wright Hall.
Exhibitions by the Wilderspin Art Group and Barton Civic Society.
The programme is being updated continuously so check the details in September here or on the Civic Society’s website.


Cuthbert Brodrick ~ Yorkshire Architect – Barton Civic Society

7.30pm, Joseph Wright Hall
John Scotney outlines the life and work of one of Hull’s most famous architects who designed Leeds Town Hall, The Grand Hotel in Scarborough and the former Town Hall in Hull. This talk will be in the Joseph Wright Hall designed by Joseph Wright, a pupil of Brodrick.
Civic Society members free. Non-members £2

Penny Dreadful! Or Mrs. Lovett’s Revenge!

2.30pm (Joseph Wright Hall)
Chills and chuckles in abundance with this original one-woman show featuring Sweeney Todd’s partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett! Be appalled by a plethora of other grotesque characters from the cheap and grisly pages of the Victorian era’s penny dreadful papers, in a theatrical comedy suitable for children and the young at heart. Go on – have a close shave with Mrs. Lovett… She’d love to have you for dinner!
Tickets £9, Concessions £8, Children £5

Museum Exhibits

From interactive exhibitions to an original Victorian classroom. Here is a taster of some of the interesting exhibits you can find during your visit.

Wilderspin Exhibits

Schools Programme

Our Schools Programme has been developed to provide children with an exciting way of engaging with the history of Victorian school life.

Schools Programme

History of the School

Learn about Samuel Wilderspin and the Wilderspin National Schools and how his innovations gradually transformed schooling for children of all ages.

Wilderspin History
Find Out More