The Blue Coat School will be opening for twice as long as previously for Heritage Open Days 2018, giving members of the public a rare chance to enjoy tours and talks in this Historic England Grade II* listed building, starting from Saturday 8th September.
The School will be open with free entry on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September and Sat 15th and Sunday 16th September from 11.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. for Heritage Open Days, England’s biggest festival of history and culture, which is run locally in association with the Wavertree Society.
For the first time, informal illustrated talks on the School’s history will be given by Peter Elson and Keith Caulkin, of the Development Office. Blue Coat students will give five guided tours on the hour lasting about 45 minutes.
There will be a rare opportunity to hear our historic Father Willis pipe organ, the subject of a big Heritage Lottery Fund restoration campaign, played by one of our Year 12 students during the second weekend.
Although Blue Coat dates back to 1708, the present School buildings were opened in 1906 after the Blue Coat Hospital (as it was then called) relocated to Liverpool, south Liverpool from its original city centre Georgian premises, now occupied by Bluecoat Arts Centre.
These magnificent Edwardian buildings, in English Renaissance style, by architects Briggs, Wolstenholme, Hobbs & Thornely, who also designed the Port of Liverpool Building (one the Pier Head’s Three Graces), epitomises Liverpool at its mercantile zenith as Second City of the British Empire.
Visitors can experience historic features including the elegant Boardroom and the beautiful Christopher Wren-style domed Chapel. In complete contrast is the new modernist 2002-4 extension, which has allowed the School to expand its capacity and make it fit-for-purpose in the 21st century. A brand new Sixth Form centre has also been incorporated into the 1906 Foundation Building.
Cat Gransden, Blue Coat School Director of Development, said: “In past years the School has only opened for one weekend of the Heritage Open Days.
Due to demand from the public wanting to see inside the whole of the School, with its landmark clock tower, we decided to give people the chance to visit over both weekends. We had 250 visitors last year, so we expect to double that by opening for the full four days.”
- Open: Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September and Saturday 15th and Sunday 16 September from 11.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
- No booking required – entry free at Clock Tower main doors
- Regular 45 minute tours will run during opening times, no booking required. Last tour 3.00 p.m.)
- Free refreshments of tea, coffee and biscuits will be available during the opening.