Welcome to Wilderspin School

Discover a re-telling of the Wilderspin Story with new displays, and historical classroom settings illustrating the history of the Barton Church School, including a new Wartime Classroom.

Our team of volunteers has been depleted during the Covid lockdowns.  In order to guarantee opening times we need to restrict our regular open days to weekends only (11am – 3pm) while we recruit and train new staff.  Do, please, let us know if you’d like to help and join our team of Visitor Guides, front of house.

The Old School Canteen is open Thursday – Sunday 10am – 4pm.



We have had support from Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire to help us invest in more efficient heating for the Joseph Wright Hall, as part of an £8.5 million Smart Energy programme part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Click here for the full story: http://www.wilderspinschool.org.uk/news/

ERDF and Smart Energy combined logo

Additional support to improve our shop and visitor reception as we prepare for post – Covid reopening was made available by the Humber Business Growth Hub – SME Restart & Recovery / Kickstarting Tourism programme part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

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Click here for a summary of our 2020-25 Forward Plan




The Teacher is Abroad in the Land

Samuel Wilderspin began his pioneering work spreading Infant Schools throughout the British Isles in 1820.  Ian Wolseley explores the travels, trials and tribulations of this itinerant promoter of Infant education as he journeyed by road and sea just as the railway age dawned – making a four-year “stopover” here in Barton to set up his Model School.  The talk is part of Barton Civic Society’s 2021 lecture programme, and will take place in the Joseph Wright Hall (ground floor) at 7.3opm.  Non members £2.  Doors open 7.00pm.

quiz written on blackboard slate

Quiz Night

Everyone’s invited to celebrate Museums at Night with us and take part in our popular Quiz Night on Friday 29 October – which also helps raise funds for further restoration works on the site.  It’s only £2 per person – but you can spend more in the bar!  Teams of up to six can be booked now on (01652) 635172.  The quiz will take place in the Joseph Wright Hall (ground floor).  Doors open 6.30pm.  Quiz starts at 7pm.

Alice in Wonderland cancellation

Friends at Barton’s postponed production of Alice in Wonderland has regrettably been cancelled while essential  electrical and safety improvements in the Joseph Wright Hall, started during the last lockdown, are completed this autumn.

The work has been made possible thanks to a grant from SSE Sustainable Development Fund, and additional heating improvements have been funded by Land Trust.

We’re getting in touch with ticket holders to advise about refunds.  The Museum is currently open at weekends only between 11am and 3pm for collection of refunds – we are unable to deal with cash refunds at other times.  If you are unable to call in at weekends, please get in touch by phone (01652 635172) or email wilderspinschoolmuseum@gmail.com so we can make alternative arrangements.

We are grateful to ticket holders who have kindly donated their payment to the Trust for the benefit of further improvements to the Hall – these monies will be added to the Joseph Wright Hall Public Appeal which will be used to remodel the fire escape and stage access stairs which will enable us to increase audience capacity.  It’s important that donations to the appeal from ticket monies are clearly designated as such – if you’d like to do this, please let us know by phone or email.  The Museum office is staffed on Thursdays and Fridays only, but you can leave a message on our answerphone any time.

The first shows in the re-opened Hall will be the South Bank Players Christmas panto.

Christmas Weekends

Saturdays 4 & 5 and Sundays 11 & 12 December, 10am-4pm

Visit Barton’s only Victorian Father Christmas, with crafts and more.

Book your stall for all or part of these festive weekends.

Tel (01652) 635172




Discover the story of Samuel Wilderspin and see the unique Infant Schoolroom and Playground that he designed in 1845.

The Wilderspin Story
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