Information for Schools

There is a lot to see on your visit to the Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum. Please see further down the page for information on the house.

Click here for our Autumn / Winter 2015 - 2016 Newsletter for Schools.

Booking a Group Visit

For all enquiries and group visits please telephone 023 9283 4744 / 4737 or click here to email us stating clearly your name, school contact details, number/age of children, which museum/exhibition/workshop you are interested in and your preferred dates/times. For a list of all admission charges click here.

Length of Stay and Group Sizes

Unless you have booked a led session the typical visit time is 20 - 30 minutes per 12-15 people. Because the house is very small, the maximum recommended number arriving in a group at any one time should not exceed 30. We will need classes to be split into smaller groups and will admit manageable numbers in at a time. A teacher/pupil ratio of at least 1:10 is essential. (When school groups are in the museum, the behaviour of the children or students is the responsibility of the teacher in charge).


Payment for the workshop is stated above. For self-guided visits no admission charge is made for UK schools booked in advance. Payment for other groups is made on the day of your visit. Cheques payable to 'Portsmouth City Council', Credit cards: MasterCard or Visa.


Charles Dickens was born in this house in 1812 and lived there for the first few months of his life. The house has been extensively restored and is decorated and furnished in the Regency style appropriate to his parents John and Elizabeth Dickens.

There are three furnished rooms: the parlour; the dining room and the bedroom where Charles was born. A small exhibition room shows a range of prints illustrating the works of Charles Dickens and a number of personal items are also on display, together with the couch on which he died. Information is available in 10 languages.

Wonder Boxes - the new-look loans collection from Portsmouth Museums

The first phase of our review of the Museum Loans Collection is complete and the first batch loan items, rebranded as Wonder Boxes, are available for use.

Our fabulous loans boxes are the perfect stimulus for creative work across the curriculum, including science, art & design, literacy and history.  Bring a little awe and wonder into your classroom with bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile specimens or skulls and skeletons.  Or bring the past to life with high quality model dinosaurs and original and replica artefacts illustrating life in Ancient Egypt.

Click here to download the latest edition of the illustrated Wonder Box Catalogue.

The catalogue lists all of the loans boxes currently available and explains how to book a box and the Terms and Conditions under which the loans scheme operates.  New boxes will be added to the catalogue as the review process continues, starting with pre-history and geology in 2015.

National Curriculum  Links- A Broad and Balanced Approach

The Birthplace is suitable for a wide range of National Curriculum work. Here are some suggestions of ways in which you can link your visit to National Curriculum areas.

Read and understand a range of texts - the story of the house and extracts from Dickens' novels. Be able to distinguish between fact and fiction. Be able to identify types of texts by looking at their content, structure, vocabulary, layout and purpose.

Look at maps. Investigate places and scales. Focus on geographical questions. Where is it? What is it like? How and why has it changed?

By looking at the house, its locality and its contents classify 2-D and 3-D shapes. Understand the properties of reflective symmetry and tessellation. Collect, interpret and represent data.

Identify different materials and methods used by artists and craftspeople. Recognise the ways in which art, craft and design reflect the time and place in which they were made. Express ideas and opinions using the correct vocabulary.

Look at a middle class house trapped in a time warp.
-Artefacts (building and contents) during a visit to the museum.
It is possible to find out who lived in the house throughout Queen Victoria's reign and research the history of the Pearce family.
-Documents and Printed Source Material.
Rate Books
Census Returns
Parish Records of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials
Wills and Abstracts of Title
Kelly's Directory
Lists of Burgesses etc.

Heating and Lighting Technology. Building Design and Construction and how it has changed.

Please book now

We look forward to welcoming you soon! Call 023 9283 4744 / 4737 to make a booking.

Dickens Quote:

Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.