St John’s Schoolhouse Museum

Galleries, Museums and Collections

St John’s Schoolhouse was Canberra’s first school and school master’s residence. It opened in 1845, to provide elementary education for children from the Campbell estate of Duntroon and surrounding farms. Many family names of former pupils can be seen on gravestones in St John’s Churchyard.

In 1908 the School was closed, and the historic little building was facing demolition. Fortunately, it was spared this fate, and in 1969 the restored Schoolhouse was re-opened as a museum of Canberra’s early history and education. St John’s Schoolhouse Museum is proud of its 55-year role in the community as one of Canberra’s first museums.

The Schoolhouse Museum displays artefacts and early photographs of the district enable visitors to imagine the very different scene of rural Canberra, before it became the Federal Capital.

The theme of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival in 2024 is “Connections”. In line with this St John’s Schoolhouse Museum is offering an exhibition of heirloom handiwork and associated objects. Through the work of their “Skilful Hands” many women of previous ages passed on a tangible inheritance to their descendants. Some of their stories have a direct connection to the Schoolhouse Museum.

School and other groups are most welcome to visit the Museum throughout the year, for a small charge per head. General entry to the Museum is by donation (EPTPOS available).


Carpark Coach Parking Family Friendly Lawn / Gardens Non Smoking Public Toilet

Disabled Assistance

Disabled access available


Australian Museums and Galleries Association National Trust


COVID Safe National Trust


From AU$2.00

A donation on entry is requested. EFTPOS is available.
For school and other tours, which must be booked by phone, a small amount is charged per student.
The Museum is staffed by volunteers, and all entry money received assists in the maintenance and upkeep of this historic building.

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We welcome school groups and others, by arrangement. See Phone contacts.

St John’s Schoolhouse Museum

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