In response to the poor British designs on display at the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Science and Art Department, as part of the Board of Education, was set up in South Kensington in 1856. The Department allocated grants for Schools of Art and set the curriculum for schools to follow. By 1879 there were 675 art schools in England instructing some 5000 pupils.

One of these schools was the Coalbrookdale School of Art.  Founded in 1856, it was set up as part of the Coalbrookdale Scientific and Literary Institute, which was created in 1853 for the purpose of giving ‘the inhabitants of Coalbrookdale and the Neighbourhood, the means of acquiring useful knowledge on literary and scientific subjects’. Click the images below to find out more about these Schools of Art, both locally and nationally.