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 building was facing demolition. Fortunately, the historic little building was rescued from 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 54-year service to the community as one of Canberra’s first museums.

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

During the 2023 ACT Heritage Festival the Schoolhouse and St John’s Parish will combine to present an all-day program of events on 25 April, starting after the ANZAC Day Dawn Service. The Schoolhouse will have a display, and will offer themed tours in the afternoon, along with an ANZAC biscuit afternoon tea. We will also have a special display on Royal visits to St John’s on April 14, when a Tree planting will commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the late Queen Elizabeth II. (For more details of our planned activities, see the official Heritage Festival program.)


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.
Our Museum is staffed by volunteers, and all entry money received assists in the maintenance and upkeep of this historic building.

Nearby Things to Do

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

St John’s Schoolhouse Museum

Reid, Canberra

Murrumbateman Vineyard

Vino & Co Tours

Oaks Estate, Canberra

Dirt road running through Kowen Pine Forest with views to the countryside and far hills

Kowen Pine Forest

Kowen, Canberra

Molonglo Gorge

Molonglo Gorge

Kowen, Canberra

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