Four days’ hard labour

What was life like for a Victorian child criminal?

What to expect in the onsite workshop:

In the onsite workshop students explore the experiences of Victorian people, including children, who were imprisoned. This session strengthens skills in analysing evidence and develops historical empathy.

The two-hour workshop is led by an experienced history educator in an inspiring learning space at The National Archives in Kew. Students get to view up close a range of original documents including photographs, a map and the fascinating records of individuals in Wandsworth prison.


What to expect in the online workshop:

In the online workshop in your classroom students will explore the experiences of Victorian people, including children, who were imprisoned. Pupils examine a range of documents including photographs and a prison map. The session encourages historical empathy through focusing on the experience of one child prisoner.

The one-hour online session in your classroom is led by an experienced history educator, you only need a microphone, large screen and webcam to take part. Interactive activities encourage students to discuss their ideas and work in groups using high-quality materials provided in advance by the Education team.


This session can be combined with a visit to the Museum of Richmond, where pupils will discover how the railways transformed life in Richmond. Using objects from the Museum’s handling collection, they will also explore Victorian Wash day, Victorian Schools and Victorian toys.

This session supports schools focusing on a thematic study in British history (beyond 1066).

Connections to the curriculum: History, English (spoken language and writing – composition).

Available as: On site workshop, Combined workshop, Online workshop. Find out more about the types of session we offer.

Session options

This session is delivered as a:


at The National Archives

2 hours

Combined workshop

at The National Archives and The Museum of Richmond

2 + 1.5 hours respectively

Online workshop

in your classroom

1 hour

Available: All year at The National Archives. Joint session available on 30 April, 14 May and 18 June 2019.

Cost: The National Archives session is free.

Combined session: £2.50 per pupil for LBRuT Schools, £3.50 per student for non-LBRuT schools. The charge for this session should be paid to the Museum of Richmond.

Duration: 2 hour workshop at The National Archives, 1.5 hour workshop at The Museum of Richmond.

Suitability: Key stage 2.

To book a combined session with the Museum of Richmond, please contact:

Request a booking

Contact us

All activities must be booked in advance.

Tel: +44 (0)20 3908 9162