Explore the beginnings of Canberra at St John’s historic Schoolhouse.
On the top of a small hill off busy Constitution Avenue stands the beautiful little Anglican Church of St John the Baptist, St John’s historic 19th Century precinct includes a sturdy stone schoolhouse and an extensive graveyard, all dating back to the 1840s – surviving parts of Robert Campbell’s extensive property of ‘Duntroon’.
Opened in the 1840s, when the Limestone Plains were sparsely settled by British pastoralists, children from the surrounding farms walked up the hill to the little building, where they received basic instruction in the “Three R’s”.
After closing in 1907, just six years before the naming of Canberra as the Federal Capital, the School reopened about sixty years later as a museum of early education.
Today’s children like to sit at the old desks, gaze at photographs of 19th Century school pupils and play the simple but entertaining games of an earlier age.
Historic memorabilia are on display, as well as scrapbooks consisting of newspaper cuttings, photos, letters and journal articles – all of which offer a glimpse into Canberra’s earlier life.
We invite you and your family to step back in time as you explore the Schoolhouse, and perhaps also the Church of St John the Baptist and its associated graveyard, where the names of pioneer families echo the Schoolhouse rolls.
Visit the Schoolhouse Museum
PLEASE NOTE: THE SCHOOLHOUSE MUSEUM IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR REPAINTING, AND IS DUE TO RE-OPEN IN MID-OCTOBER
The Schoolhouse is located at 45 Constitution Avenue in Reid. It is open to the public:
Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm-4pm
Wednesdays from 10am-12noon
Daily from 2-4pm during the ACT Heritage Festival in autumn
Entry by gold coin
School excursions and group tours most welcome. To book, phone 0427 430 158 or email us.