Highgate School Museum

A small museum with great ambition

Our Museum tells the story of Highgate School through documents, artefacts, photographs and paintings. It opens a window on the past, showing school life through the centuries, our relationship with Highgate Village, and how we endured two world wars.

Housed in The Highgate Tabernacle on Southwood Lane, exhibits include:

  • Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I, dated 29 January 1565
  • 1860s slate used by then Head John Bradley Dyne for the register of attendance
  • World War One letters from Master Arthur ‘Jumbo’ White
  • Photographs documenting our evacuation to Devon in World War Two
  • Shrapnel from the V-1 flying bomb which landed on our Senior Field in June 1944
  • Art by Sir Kyffin Williams RA (Head of Art 1944-73) and Anthony Green RA (pupil 1951-56, Assistant Art Master 1961-67).


In 1565, the school day began at 7am with prayers, with lunch from 11am to 1pm, and ended at 5pm (6pm in the summer) with more prayers.


In the nineteenth century, Eton Fives, cricket, rugby and athletics were our only formal games. Now pupils take part in over 20 different sports.


In 1958, Highgate School Choir became the first school choir to sing at the Proms.

Visit our Museum

Whether it is for you or for a group, enjoy the museum and its unique collections with a free visit, led by Highgate’s archivists. The perfect way to learn about the history of Highgate School from the people who know it best. Please email us at archives@highgateschool.org.uk or call 020 8347 4421 to find out more.


Moments in the Museum

Step inside the history of Highgate and enjoy many of the wonderful artefacts, displays and artworks that are part of its blueprint through Moments in the Museum. This series focusses a spotlight on individual pieces, delving into their past.

Click here to watch a collection of short videos about items in the Highgate School Museum.

Highgate School Archive

Our Archive collects and preserves records relating to our School’s history, making them available for research. It contains material dating from our 1565 foundation to the present day. Holdings include:

  • Royal Charters of Queen Elizabeth I, authorising our founder Sir Roger Cholmeley to found a school at Highgate, 29 January 1565, 6 April 1565
  • Governors’ minutes and account books from 1565
  • Head Masters’ and Masters’ records from 1571
  • Pupil records from 1833
  • Estate papers, architectural drawings and plans of School property
  • Official school magazines and publications, plus alternative school magazines
  • Newspaper cuttings and audio-visual material, including oral histories
  • Uniforms and sportswear, trophies and medals
  • Photographs of Masters, staff, pupils, sports teams, Houses, School buildings and views of Highgate Village, plus prints of School buildings and artworks
Highgate School Natural History Society in 1948

Visit our Archive

We welcome researchers from within and beyond our School. Our Archive is open to researchers by prior appointment Monday to Friday during term, 9am to 2pm Please contact our Archivist to make a booking.

All researchers need to sign our visitors’ book and our reading room is supervised. Due to the uniqueness and rarity of many items, we kindly ask all researchers to follow the Reading Room Rules, which you should read before visiting.

Certain records are subject to a closure period. Records are normally closed for legal, privacy and security reasons. Other records may be closed because they are in a fragile state and, if used, are liable to be damaged further.

Highgate Junior School Pageant in 1937

Latest news

Visit our online exhibitions on Pinterest.


Archivist and Records Manager

Highgate School
North Road
London N6 4AY

Telephone: 020 8347 4421
Email: Archives@highgateschool.org.uk

Support our Museum and Archive

We are always delighted to accept donations connected to our School, like documents, letters, photos, clothing, objects and other memorabilia. Please contact our Archivist before sending items.

Our history
Friends of Highgate
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