Blewcoat School

The Blewcoat, located in Caxton Street, London, was built in 1709 as a school for the poor (a Bluecoat school). It was used as a school until 1926. In 1954, it was purchased by the National Trust who used it as a gift shop and information centre. In 2013 fashion designer Ian Stuart was granted permission to refurbish the interior to house his bridal gowns, special occasion wear & evening gown collections

The Blewcoat
Blewcoat School, May 2008
General information
LocationCity of Westminster
London, SW1
CountryUnited Kingdom
Coordinates51°29′54.3″N 0°8′9.9″W
Current tenantsIan Stuart
Construction started1709 (1709)

Opening times

The Blewcoat opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10.00-18.00 Late Opening on Thursday 12.30-20.30


The school was founded in Duck Lane in about 1688 by voluntary subscription as a charity school for the education of poor boys to teach them reading, writing, religion, and trades. It moved to purpose-built premises in Caxton Street. From 1714 to about 1876, it also admitted girls. In 1899, it was agreed that the school should move to a site that had been owned by the Christ Church National Schools Trust, and the Caxton Street site was then used for an elementary school.[1] The school closed in 1926.[2]

Later uses

During World War II, the building was used by the American services as a store. Afterwards, the Girl Guides used it as a youth club. When the National Trust bought it in 1954, it was used as their membership and head office. Later, it was converted into a gift shop.[2][3] June 2014 saw the opening of renowned British designer Ian Stuart’s exclusive boutique in the building.


  1. Cox, Montague H. (1926). "Blue Coat School". Survey of London: volume 10: St. Margaret, Westminster, part I: Queen Anne’s Gate area (1926), pp. 144-147. British History Online. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  2. Provençal, Nina (February 2011). "Business of the Month: January and February 2011 - The National Trust Shop". Business of the Month. Victoria Business Improvement District. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  3. Tye, Timothy. "Blewcoat School, London". Historical Buildings in London. Timothy Tye. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
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