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 Art School became part of Liverpool Polytechnic in the early 1970s, and in July 1975 sculpture students from the fine art department there exhibited in the Bluecoat garden. It was the first of many outdoor art displays in this city centre oasis, while collaborations with the Polytechnic - later becoming Liverpool John Moores University - have continued.
My Bluecoat News
Acanthus returns to Bluecoat garden
The Sandon Studios Society, Liverpool’s artistic rebels
Bluecoat Exhibitions History
Captain Beefheart at Bluecoat, a new collection