Tuesday 14 August 2012

The Ragged School Museum London

If you are in London, don't miss out on a visit to the Ragged School Museum in Bow, London. When Thomas Barnardo came to London from his home city of Dublin in 1866, intending to train as a doctor and then become a missionary in China, he was confronted by a city where disease was rife, poverty and overcrowding endemic and educational opportunities for the poor were non-existent. He watched helplessly as a cholera epidemic swept through the East End, leaving over 3,000 Londoners dead and many destitute. He gave up his medical training to pursue his local missionary works and in 1867 opened his first "ragged school" where children could gain a free basic education.

The school was housed in three large canal side buildings and here there are several gallery areas which include a reconstructed Victorian Classroom and a Victorian East End Kitchen displaying its own collection of historical artefacts, all designed for hands-on inspection. This is a museum where you can sit at the school desks, use the tin bath(!) and experience what life was like for the Victorian poor of the East End of London. For opening times and more details, click here.
The Ragged School Museum

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