Welcome to Wilderspin School


The Barton National & Infants School was built in 1844. The Infant School was championed by the educational pioneer and teacher Samuel Wilderspin who designed, equipped and taught here.

This model school was the last of two thousand infant schools set up by Wilderspin across the British Isles. It is unique – few other buildings associated with Wilderspin have survived.

Begin your tour in the 1970s classroom for a flavour of school life at the time the building closed, pause in the National School classroom for a taste of Victorian childhood, then contemplate Wilderspin’s ground-breaking methods in his Infants’ Schoolroom and Playground of 1845.

We are a family-friendly museum, fully wheelchair-accessible and with a stylish café – The Old School Canteen. Visitors of all ages will experience school life from a bygone age – with lots for children to see and touch while grownups can reminisce and reflect on their own memories of school.

Located in the historic town of Barton-upon-Humber, close to the Humber Bridge, the museum makes a great place to start your exploration of the town and South Humber Bank



Victorian Christmas

11am – 4pm

Indoor Christmas market and Victorian fair in the Infants Schoolroom, with Barton’s only authentic Victorian Father Christmas in his secret Grotto.  Enjoy mulled wine around a blazing fire or afternoon tea in the festive coffee shop – come inside away from the crowds.

The Snow Queen

After the ‘SOLD-OUT’ success of their last production A CHRISTMAS CAROL at The Joseph Wright Hall, Friends At Barton return this December to enchant us with the magical Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale THE SNOW QUEEN. This promises to be a wonderful evening’s entertainment for the whole family.  Tickets on sale from October.  An extra performance added due to popular demand.
Performances Monday 4th to Thursday 7th December at 7.30pm
Watch this space for more info.

Christmas Concert

The New County Choir return to the Joseph Wright Hall with their performance of The Infancy of Christ, a Christmas cantata, by Douglas Coombes.


Tickets (£6) can be bought in advance from the Wilderspin School Museum or on the door.

There will be an interval with refreshments.

Image: Westminster Window By Hystfield – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23413742



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