Liverpool’s historic Blue Coat School to open its doors to the public

On Saturday and Sunday, September 8/9 and 15/16, the Grade II-listed building in Church Road, Wavertree, will offer free tours and talks as part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days project

Blue Coat
The Christopher Wren-style domed chapel at Blue Coat School in Liverpool


Liverpool’s famous Blue Coat School is opening its doors to the public for the next two weekends.

On Saturday and Sunday, September 8/9 and 15/16, the Grade II-listed building in Church Road, Wavertree, will offer tours and talks as part of Heritage Open Days, England’s festival of history and culture, run locally in association with the Wavertree Society.

On each of the four days the school will be open, free of charge, from 11am to 4pm and, 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 opportunity to view and hear the rare, museum-quality Father Willis pipe organ, which will be restored in the Blue Coat For All project, which includes cataloguing the School Archive. Free light refreshments will be available. 

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 Blue Coat Arts Centre.

Blue Coat
The Foundation Boardroom at Blue Coat School in Liverpool


These magnificent Edwardian buildings, in English Renaissance style, by architects Briggs, Wolstenholme, Hobbs & Thornely, who also designed the Port of Liverpool Building, epitomises Liverpool at its mercantile zenith as second city of the British Empire.   

Visitors can experience historic features including the elegant Foundation Boardroom and the beautiful Christopher Wren-style domed chapel. In complete contrast is the new modernist 2002-4 extension.  A new sixth form common room 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.”

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