Other Artefacts


A wander around the museum reveals an endless supply of objects which bore witness to the everyday life of a busy school over many centuries.  Early wooden bowls, plates and soup spoons and the later china bearing the CH crest helped to quench the hunger and thirst of thousands of pupils, and what delights would have been purchased in the tuck shop with the specially minted CH money.  School desks from both Hertford and Horsham bear the doodlings of girls and boys, whilst their triumphs are celebrated by engraved prize medals and their disasters are remembered by birches for the boys and, for the girls, hand sewn punishment bands which were worn around their foreheads bearing legends such as rudeness and disrespect, a dunce and gossiping.  Copeland Spode pint beer mugs, bearing the CH crest and a number signifying the ward number to which it belonged,  was used by the pupils for drinking beer at breakfast, although what they drank would not be recognisable as beer today!

Amongst the more unusual objects on display in the museum is the school fire engine, clearly visible in a 19th century photograph of a dormitory fire in London and known to have been used to extinguish a fire in a haystack at Horsham, and candlesticks which were used to climb the stone stairs to the wards in London and which were ceremonially paraded at Public Suppers in London.  In Dining Hall are the President’s chair, which was occupied by Queen Victoria when she visited the school in 1845, and the 1878 Father Willis organ from Hertford; in the History library are 23 shields, mostly commemorating benefactors, which were displayed in the London Dining Hall until 1902 and then in the Hertford Dining Hall until 1985; and in Big School is the 1829 organ built by Elliot and Hill which was in the London Great Hall.