300 years at the heart of Liverpool
My Bluecoat brings together stories, films, documents and archival images from one of Liverpool's most iconic buildings. Dedicated in 1717, Bluecoat is the oldest building in Liverpool city centre and the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It began life as a charitable boarding school for poor children, and in the early 20th century became the UK's first arts centre, a role that continues today. This website brings together these historic strands alongside the stories of the people who have visited, experienced and participated in Bluecoat’s varied activities.
Research for the website took place during 2017, our 300th anniversary year, and we’re continuing to update and add to it – with your help. Whether you’re exploring Bluecoat for the first time, or have memories to share, we would love to hear your Bluecoat story. My Bluecoat has been developed in partnership with Liverpool Record Office and Liverpool Blue Coat School and is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The UK's first arts centre
The Blue Coat School
Not just a pretty façade
Sandon Studios Society
Bluecoat and Slavery
Explore our collections
Search the Archive
Watch My Bluecoat Stories
Tell us your story
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The name Bluecoat derives from the blue coats worn by pupils at the charity school, which was founded in 1708 and opened the following year in a modest building close to the present site. The colour Blue denotes charity and the first such school was Christ's Hospital in London in 1552, which moved to Horsham Sussex in 1902.
My Bluecoat News
Bluecoat book to be published 2020
Call Out: Resonance FM / North West Art Schools
Call for Art School students
Bluecoat and National Trust announce Serena Korda co-commission for Liverpool’s Speke Hall
Blue Coat Willis Organ Restoration
My Bluecoat Story
In almost continuous use for three centuries, people have experienced Bluecoat in many different ways: as school pupil, artist, retailer, shopper, arts attender, workshop participant, visitor. This ever-growing selection of stories and short films tells some of their stories.