Welcome to Wilderspin School

Painting of Samuel Wilderspin

Samuel Wilderspin               (1991 -1866)






Twenty five years ago efforts began by volunteers of the Queen Street School Preservation Trust to save and restore this former National & Infants School with its unique connections to Samuel Wilderspin, pioneer of infant education.  More volunteers have run the museum these past ten years.  Now, in 2018, these efforts have earned us a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.  Our News page has more details.  If you would like to join our “award winning” team – go to our “Supporting Us” page.

WNS NW corner RHatfield

Begin your tour in the post-war classroom for a flavour of school life in the 1950s – 70s … the story starts at the time the building closed in 1978.  Here you’ll recall many things from your own schooldays.

Pause in the National School classroom for a taste of Victorian childhood, then contemplate Samuel Wilderspin’s ground-breaking methods in his Infants’ Schoolroom and Playground of 1845.  This was a model school where teachers were trained, and where Wilderspin and his family taught.

We are a family-friendly museum, fully wheelchair-accessible and with a stylish coffee shop – 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.



Art on the Railings

Exhibition and demonstrations by members of the Wilderspin Art Group in the Wilderspin Playground Garden.

10am -4pm

Classroom Crafts Taster

Pop in and try one of the crafty activities anytime.

Booking not required.  Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.  £2.

Thursday 23 August, 1pm – 3pm

Up in the Gallery

Heritage Open Days – Barton Heritage Festival

Enjoy the thrills of Victorian music hall theatre as part of the Barton Heritage Festival  in our “eclectic, energetic and effervescent” variety show, certain to entertain and keep you smiling.  Although not essential, the audience is encouraged to wear Victorian attire – and prizes will be awarded for the best efforts!

7.30pm, Joseph Wright Hall (Our Victorian theatre is accessible by stairs – please let us know if you need to use the stair lift).

Adults £6.50, Children & Concessions £5.  Tel. (01652) 635172 to book or call in Thurs – Sun 10am-4pm.


Full details of the entire Heritage Festival programme will be available in the summer in print, and online at heritagelinconshire.org.uk or barton-upon-humber.org.uk



Heritage Festival – Welcome to Barton

Reflective stories of newcomers to the town – what was it that brought people to live here? What were their first impressions – and lasting memories? An exhibition created by the Civic Society. Joseph Wright Hall (DN18 5QP) Saturday 8 –  Sunday 16 September 10am – 4pm (Saturday 8 – Sunday 9 and Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 September).



Museum Exhibits

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

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

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