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.
Bluecoat and Slavery
Shape and Structure selected by Emily Motto
The UK's first arts centre
The Blue Coat School
Not just a pretty façade
Sandon Studios Society
Captain Beefheart at Bluecoat
Search the Archive
Watch My Bluecoat Stories
Have some Fun
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Following their breakthrough 1967 collection, The Mersey Sound, Liverpool poets Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten performed at Bluecoat on many occasions. Henri was also a regular exhibitor in the gallery. Patten returned to give a reading in Bluecoat's tercentenary year, 2017.
My Bluecoat News
Posters from the archive - Selection by Liverpool-based design company Dorothy
Imagining Bluecoat 1769 - Ed Farrell's paintings, maps & notes
Posters from the archive by Bryan Biggs - Poetry and Spoken Word Events
Bluecoat Curator Adam Lewis-Smythe shares his favourite posters from the archive
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.