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.

Featured Collections

The UK's first arts centre

The Blue Coat School

Not just a pretty façade

Sandon Studios Society

Bluecoat and Slavery

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294/300 Facts

1992

Liverpool-born actor Derek Nimmo, known for upper class and clerical roles on TV shows like All Gas & Gaiters, wandered inadvertently into Bluecoat while 1992 postcolonial exhibition Trophies of Empire was being installed.

See more facts

My Bluecoat News

01/10/2018

Call Out: Resonance FM / North West Art Schools

Call for Art School students

28/08/2018

Bluecoat and National Trust announce Serena Korda co-commission for Liverpool’s Speke Hall

29/06/2018

Blue Coat Willis Organ Restoration

24/06/2018

Call for Volunteer Archivists

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.