The Monitorial Schoolroom
The Monitorial Schoolroom has been partly restored but further funding is urgently needed to allow full restoration to its former glory.
The room was built in 1837 to enable one master to teach 300 boys with the aid of 30 monitors by the Lancasterian method. It is the only known complete example to survive in the world. The boys sat facing the master on benches at narrow desks and were taught by the monitors at semi-circular ‘teaching stations’ around the walls. The room is essentially as it was in 1837, built to Lancaster’s specifications with clerestory windows and pillared side aisles. The floor originally sloped to give the master a good view of all his pupils to help him maintain discipline – essential in such an enormous schoolroom full of children. Joseph Lancaster disliked corporal punishment and no child was ever beaten in an early Lancasterian school.