Bluecoat Schools 


The Bluecoat schools (sometimes still known as Blewcoat Schools), the first of which was Christ's Hospital in London, were charity schools for the children from poor families. The name 'bluecoat' came fromt the uniforms the children wore.


There is a Wikipedia page which lists some of the main Bluecoat schools so I won't repeat all the infomration here but if there are Bluecoat schools not listed there, or you have other information or memories you would like to share here, please get in touch.






The school, which opened in 1760, was originally housed over the North Gate. However, this was demolished in the 1840s and the school was moved in around 1842 (perhaps ealier - see below).



The clock that was on the Bluecoat School has been restored and is now at the end of the Pannier Market.



A painting of the orignal Bluecoat School can be found here (external site).


It seems that the boys' and girls' parts of the school had slightly different histories. While, in 1844, the boys' school had moved to North Walk, the girls' side was in Church Lane. By 1870, the two had united at North Walk.  What directories of the time (listed below) also suggest, is that there is a question mark about when the new school at North Walk was built. It may have been as early as 1834.


Pigot & Co. Directory of Devonshire 1844:

"BLUE COAT SCHOOL (boys), North walk - William Beck, master"

"BLUE COAT SCHOOL (girls), Church lane - Mary May, mistress"


Morris and Co. Commercial Directory and Gazetteer 1870:

"The BLUE COAT SCHOOLS, in the north walk, were rebuilt by subscription in 1834, and provide for the education and clothing of 50 boys and 30 girls."

"May Mrs. Mary, Blue Coat schoolmistress, North walk"

"Satterley Charles H., Bluecoat schoolmaster, North walk"




The school was also known as 'Greenways'.

The first master of the Blue Coat School was given £9 per annum for the rent of a  house, which was also the location of the girls' school, founded in 1714. The school was moved to new premises in Frog Street (now called Castle Street) in 1842.


Pigot & Co. Directory of Devonshire 1844:

"GREENWAY'S BLUE COAT SCHOOL, Frog street - John Quick, master; Elizabeth Sharland, mistress

Hill Louisa, Bampton st"


An article about the school has been written: Giles, DD & Strong, PJ 1984. The Blue Coat School, Tiverton in Transactions of the Devonshire Association 116







In the busy Princesshay shopping mall in Exeter, stands
a statue of  boy.
















"This statue of a blue boy stood in the courtyard of Saint John's Hospital School founded on this site as a Bluecoat School by the Chamber of Exteter AD 1656 in the dissolved Mediaeval Hospital of St John the Baptist. The School continued until 1931 in new buildings erected in 1859 which were destroyed by enemy action on May 4th 1942."






A separate page on this site exists.





Christ's Hospital, London

Records are held by the London Metropolitan Archives.

A leaflet about their Bluecoat records (pdf)


Bluecoat School, Brewer's Green, Caxton Street, Westminster

Some records are held by London Metropolitan Archives


Blackheath Bluecoat School

Some records are held by London Metropolitan Archives


Bluecoat School, Birmingham

Records are held by the Library of Birmingham


Bluecoat School, Barnstaple.

Some records are held by the North Devon Record Office









Blewcoat School, Caxton Street, Westminster (the building in 2008) 

Photo by Tkeator 


File:Liverpool Bluecoat 2.jpg

Liverpool Bluecoat School building in 2009

Photo by John Bradley


File:Facade, Liverpool Bluecoat School.jpg

Wavertree Bluecoat School building in 2012

Photo by Rodhullandemu


 File:WTC Nicholas Jackson A07 Old Bluecoat School 01.jpg

Former Coventry Bluecoat School building 2012

Photo by Nicholas Jackson


 File:Bluecoat School - - 875556.jpg

Former Chester Bluecoat School in 2008.

Photo by Dennis Turner


File:Bluecoat School in Bath.png

A sketch of the Bluecoat School in Bath

Source: Wikimedia Commons


Old Bluecoat School and Christ's Hospital Terrace

Former Bluecoat School building, Lincoln in 2007.

Photo by Richard Croft

Founded 1612. Closed 1883


File:Bluecoat School, East Parade, Sheffield - - 1472827.jpg


Former Bluecoat School building, Sheffield in 2009. Photo by Stanley Walker

This buiding on East Parade was built in 1826 to replace the original school building built in 1706. 


Former Thatcham Bluecoat School building. From 1707, it was used a charity school, and from 1794 as a Bluecoat School.

Photo by Brendan and Ruth McCartney




File:Blue House Frome2.JPG

The former Bluecoat School in Frome.

Photo by Nabokov


Christ's Hospital SchoolThe building of Christ's Hospital School after it moved to Itchingfield, West Sussex from London in 1902

Photo by James 'Dan' Hall


File:ECR(1851) p71 - (Hertford) Christ's College.jpgChrist's Hospital Bluecoat School in Hertford in 1851

Source: Wikimedia Commons