School Visits
merchants house picture by Emily

Educational Programme

The Merchant's House welcomes visits from schools.  We have developed a morning programme that is informative and fun for children.  The recommended age range is Year Groups 3 to 7, and each visit can be tailored to specific needs and timings.  We can take anywhere between 5 to 36 students for a visit. 

Click here to see an example programme for a school visit.

Thanks to a grant we've received, school visits continue to be free, and since 2017 about 450 children and their 60 staff/helpers have explored this 17th C house of 'Middling Sort' (ie. middle class with aspirations!) accompanied by Mr Bayly's servants (our volunteer guides in costume).
merchants house mealtimes

In addition to visiting eight rooms in the house and handling artefacts from this period, the morning visit includes a 'Blue Plaque walking tour' along Marlborough's famously wide High Street.

Amongst the ten places of interest are blue plaques which commemorate the Royalist invasion during the Civil War, the location of the tannery where Marlborough's Great Fire started, visits from Pepys and from the Shakespeare Players, and where Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children, was a teacher.
helmet merchants house
Especially popular with the children is trying on Civil War armour
bed ropes merchants houseBed ropes ("sleep tight"!)
merchants house kitchenChildren find the kitchen especially fascinating, with no fridge and probably lots of mice
merchants house replica costumes
Replica 17thC costumes
During their break our visitors taste rosewater biscuits (made from a 17thC recipe) and an elderflower drink.

They leave with a quiz and colouring competition and each child receives an illustrated leaflet to take home.

The visits have promoted wonderful artwork, diaries and Yr 5 boy wrote "The thing I like best about the Merchant's House is everything."

Please email Sophie Costard for more information or to arrange a visit:

For schools booking early for a June visit, minibus transport may be available courtesy of Marlborough College.