Visiting Blakesley Hall
This page contains comprehensive information for teachers bringing pupils on a visit to Blakesley Hall,it includes pre-visit and on the day information.
Blakesley Hall was built in 1590 for Richard Smalbroke, Birmingham merchant and gentleman farmer. The Hall is a striking timber-framed building, with a 17th century brick kitchen extension. The house is furnished using a 17th century inventory and reflects the lifestyle of a wealthy family of the late Tudor and Stuart period of English history. Blakesley Hall is set within its own grounds which feature a fragrant herb garden, fruiting trees, a vegetable patch and a wildflower meadow.
Available for pre-booked school visits throughout the year, a wide variety half day facilitated sessions linked to the National Curriculum are available for groups from Foundation – GCSE level. A classroom with self-guided activities is available on request and a full day visit option is available. A lunch space with cloakroom and toilet facilities is available for booked school groups to use.
For enquiries or to make a booking contact the Education Bookings Team on 0121 348 8001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the schools risk assessment (PDF) for Blakesley Hall.
If you are a first time visitor to Blakesley Hall it is recommended that a member of your teaching staff attends a pre-visit. Proof of teacher status must be shown at the ticket desk on entry (e.g. General Teaching Council membership, union membership card or signed headed school paper). Please contact the bookings team to arrange this.
Our facilitated sessions take place within the historic environment of Blakesley Hall and are interactive and hands-on. They have been developed by an experienced on-site museum Learning Officer and are linked to the National Curriculum. Sessions include active learning opportunities and are designed to appeal to all learning abilities and styles to enable pupils to investigate the home life, clothes, toys, and leisure time of the families who lived at Blakesley Hall in the past.
Self-guided visits are not available at Blakesley Hall.
All of our taught sessions are available for home education groups. We can adapt the content of the taught sessions to fit with mixed age groups, abilities and needs. A minimum charge may apply.
The gardens and ground floor of the house are accessible by wheelchair users, however, as a Grade II* listed building we have been unable to install a lift within the house. Therefore those in wheelchairs will be unable to access the upper floors of the house. We can adapt our taught sessions to allow all of your class to participate in and contribute to the session. Accessible toilets are available in the classroom. Please inform our bookings team if your group have any special access requirements and our Learning Officer will endeavour to adapt the session to suit.
All visitors must wear appropriate footwear when visiting. The house has historic floors with an uneven tread. It is advisable that flat footwear be worn. Stiletto heels are strictly forbidden.
Blakesley Hall becomes very cold between October and March and all visitors are advised to dress warmly in the winter months. Coats will need to be worn in the house.
Goodie bags are available to pre-order and should be paid for on the day. We have a range of goodie bags to order:
- £1 - pencil and eraser
- £2 - pencil, mini notepad and postcard
- £3 - keyring and bookmark
Goodie bags contain items in a random selection of colours (see bottom of page for images) and are subject to availability. To pre-order your bags please contact Blakesley Hall on 0121 348 8120.
Pupil / Teacher Ratio
For all Key Stage 1 and 2 school groups a ratio of 1 adult for every 10 pupils is required. A failure to meet these ratios may result in your session being cancelled upon arrival at Blakesley Hall.
On the Day Information
School groups should arrive 15 minutes before the start of their first taught session. This will allow for pupils to disembark from the coach, drop off lunch bags and visit the toilets before going into the main house.
Late arrival may result in your taught sessions being shortened. Sessions cannot be carried over due to other groups and activities around the house.
Coach Drop Off and Parking
Please arrange for the coach to drive down the drive and drop off in our car park. Free coach parking is available to the rear of the visitor centre on the car park or overflow car park.
Enter by the visitor centre to the rear of the house. Please knock the door for admittance.
The classroom is situated in a 17th Century converted barn with views of Blakesley Hall. There are accessible toilets, hand washing facilities and coat hooks in the barn.
Teachers wishing to book a full day visit may book the classroom to use in addition to their half day facilitated session. There is a range of activities (e.g. artefact handling, quill pen writing, replica traditional toys, brass rubbing) designed to complement the teaching session that teachers may use in the classroom. Groups must supply their own paper for these activities.
There is a second room in the barn that can also be used as a lunch room. These are adjoining spaces, giving both classes access to each other throughout the lunch break. In the event of two different schools using these spaces, the door between them can be closed to give your group more privacy. Groups may picnic on the grass, weather permitting. Groups should be adequately supervised at lunchtimes.
There are two lunch rooms available at Blakesley Hall for booked school groups to use free of charge. These must be booked prior to your visit, to ensure the rooms are ready and available for your groups.
The cafe in the visitor centre is open during our open season (from Easter to October) and opening times (Tuesday – Sunday 11am - 3pm). At any other time please bring your own flask and lunch.
Teachers and pupils may leave their belongings in the barn (if this has been pre-booked for use by your group), but it is recommended to keep high value items on you at all times.
Accessible toilets are available for schools to use in the classroom. There are no toilets within the house itself.
The shop is open all year round. Pupils are welcome to visit the shop as part of their day. Please talk to the Learning Officer on arrival to timetable a visit to the shop. We ask that a maximum of 10 pupils visit the shop at one time.
- Class teachers and accompanying adults are responsible for the discipline and behaviour of the pupils, with the support of the Learning Officer
- All taught sessions take place, at least in part, in the main house of Blakesley Hall, which is a Grade II* listed building and has many historic artefacts on display. Artefacts must not be touched unless permission is granted by museum staff
- Pupils are expected to show respect within the house, listen to museum staff and follow instructions
- Adults must stay with the pupils at all times. Groups should stay together unless instructed otherwise
- Drinks and chewing gum are not permitted inside Blakesley Hall
- These rules are discussed with the group at the start of the visit
Photography is permitted within Blakesley Hall, with the exception of the Painted Chamber.