8,000 Artefacts Await You

Bring History to Life with a visit to the

Rural Life Centre

A self-led session in the Victorian school-roomA 'Laundry and Wash Day' demonstration
A session in the Victorian school-room.A 'Laundry and Wash Day' demonstration.

Services for Schools

Education facilities video

Demonstrations and workshops

  • Let the experts tell you how we used to live.
    Talks on a variety of relevant subjects from aspects of domestic life to the art of the blacksmith are available. They must be booked in advance, subject to availability. Artefacts will be used to demonstrate these themes.
  • Subjects covered include:

    The Wheelwright Victorian School A Farmer's Boy
    The Blacksmith The Laundry Victorian Maid of all Work
    Up, Up and Away - Levers, Ropes and Pulleys The Victorian Country Child
    Poland in WWII and Tweedsmuir Camp WWII Schoolboy
    Home Guard Evacuee's Schoolday Monday Wash Day WWII
  • Details
    These sessions last for about half an hour and cost £15 per class. Smaller groups of approximately 15 children are highly recommended at no additional charge. Other topics may be available. Please discuss at time of booking.

Dressing Up Clothes

A class set of dressing up clothes is available for use while at the museum. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Loan Boxes

These boxes can be used before or after a visit to the museum.

They cover many different themes and support demonstrations and museum exhibits. Alternatively they can be used to enhance classroom learning as a stimulating "stand alone" resource.

  • Subjects covered include:

    The Wheelwright Milking and Butter Making Farming
    The Blacksmith Laundry and Wash Day World War II
    Victorian Items Life in the 1930s and World War II Britain since 1948
  • Details
    The loan sets may be hired for a 3 week period. The borrower is responsible for the collection and safe return of the boxes.
    It may be possible to borrow other items from the reserve colection - please ask.
    The charge is £20 per 3 weeks with a £10 returnable deposit.
    Pre-booking is necessary with the museum on 01252 795571 or the Education Officer on 07771 526889 or email schools@rural-life.org.uk.


The museum shop stocks many pocket money items. It is available during normal opening hours, otherwise it may sometimes be opened by special arrangement.

Alternatively groups may order "goody bags" which are paid for in advance and collected on the day.

How to Book

  1. Contact the museum by 'phone or email.
    If you want to discuss your visit please do not hesitate to contact the voluntary Education Officer - 07771 526889 or email schools@rural-life.org.uk
  2. Make a provisional booking using the booking form available here or from the museum.
  3. If possible take advantage of a free pre-visit to discuss the day or just see the museum.

Visit information

  • Only one school will be booked at the museum on any one day.
  • A museum volunteer will "meet and greet" each group and be on hand to assist but not lead the group.
  • Visiting schools will have a designated indoor area to leave bags (not valuables) etc.
  • Bookings taken for any day of the week by prior arrangement.
  • Demonstrations or handling collections may be booked at extra charge, but until confirmed depend on the availability of volunteers.
  • Charges are £5.00 for children.
  • Accompanying adults and the coach driver are admitted free.

Teachers' responsibilities

  • To make the appropriate "Health and Safety" assessment before their visit.
  • Sufficient adults should accompany the group, as recommended by local authority guidelines.
  • Teachers will be responsible for the behaviour and any special needs of their pupils.

Learning Activities

Curriculum Links

  • The Rural Life Centre can support many areas of learning including history, geography, science, English, mathematics, art, technology and citizenship.
  • A visit may be tailored to your specific needs.
  • Please discuss possibilities with the Education Officer by contacting 07771 526889 or emailing schools@rural-life.org.uk

Popular Topics

Key Stage 1

What were homes like a long time ago?

  • Visit the museum prefab, 1900s room, WWII room
  • Join in with a washing or "Maid of all Work" demonstration (£15 charge per class)
  • Find out about life at home, or on the farm (£15 charge per class)
  • See displays of toys and home life of previous generations
  • Play with period toys

Key Stage II

What was it like for children in the second world war?

  • View the World War II display and answer historical questions
  • Listen to the Home Guard warden, try the Morrison shelter and use the stirrup pump (£15 charge per class)
  • Experience an evacuee's schoolday (£15 charge per class)
  • Listen to tales of a school boy during the war (£15 charge per class)
  • Take part in a Monday Wash Day (£15 charge per class)
  • Sit inside the Anderson shelter and view the Stanton shelter
  • Learn about Poland during and after WWII. Study the Tweedsmuir camp exhibit

What was it like living in Victorian Britain?

  • Attend a Victorian school, with a strict school mistress (£15 charge per class)
  • Watch the blacksmith working in his forge (£15 charge per class)
  • Join in with the local wheelwright (£15 charge per class)
  • Find out about the lives of a farmer's boy or a Victorian country child (£15 per class)
  • Learn about the Victorian "Maid of all Work" with hands on activities for boys and girls (£15 charge per class)
  • Explore the exhibits to find out about transport, farming or buildings of the period
  • Investigate how levers,ropes and pulleys were used to move loads (£15 charge per class)

How has the countryside changed?

  • Listen to the "Farmer's Boy" talk (£15 charge per class)
  • See the shop exhibits and compare and contrast with those of todayJoin in with the local wheelwright to build a wheel (£15 charge per class)
  • Watch the blacksmith working in his forge (£15 charge per class)
  • Investigate how levers,ropes and pulleys were used to move loads (£15 charge per class)
  • See displays of waggons, carts, ploughs and other agricultural machinery. Discuss how they were used

Key Stages III and IV

We will be happy to welcome you. Please discuss your particular subject or cross-curricular requirements with the Education Officer.

Rural Life Centre : Old Kiln Museum : Accredited Museum
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund
Reeds Road, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 2DL.
01252 795571 (Fax. 01252 795571)

The Old Kiln Museum Trust is a registered charity
Copyright Old Kiln Museum Trust 2011

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