St John’s Schoolhouse was Canberra’s first school and school master’s residence. It opened in 1845, to provide an 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 1907 the School was closed, and the building was eventually scheduled for demolition. Fortunately the significance of the building and its history were recognised, and in 1969 the restored Schoolhouse re-opened as a museum of Canberra’s early history and education. In 2020 we were proud to record 50 years as one of Canberra’s first museums.
The Schoolhouse enables visitors to imagine the different scene of rural Canberra, before it became the Federal Capital. Sit at an old desk, write on a slate, or play old -fashioned games. See the fascinating early photographs of the Limestone Plains.
Schoolhouse and precinct tours are still welcome by arrangement, for a small fee per head. However, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, tours are currently required to adhere to ACT Health advice, regarding numbers and social distancing.
Disabled AssistanceDisabled access available
A gold coin donation on entry is requested. For school and other tours- which must be booked- a small amount is charged per head.
Our Museum is staffed by volunteers, and entry money received assists in the maintenance and upkeep of this historic building.