Home of Charles Darwin - Down House

Schools

Bring the curriculum to life and inspire your students at the former home of Charles Darwin and the site where the internationally renowned 'On the Origin of Species' was written. From Victorian interiors and original furniture inside the house, to gardens of Special Scientific Interest, there is plenty for school groups to see at Down House.

Curriculum links

Support your teaching at Down House with many links to the curriculum from history to science and local history

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality; lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements
  • KS1-2 Science: Working scientifically, animals and plants, living things and their habitats
  • KS1-3 History: A local history study
  • KS2 History: Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Science: Evolution and inheritance
  • KS3 History: Ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain 1745-190
  • KS3 Science: Working scientifically, biology: genetics and evolution

Free self-led visits

Explore and discover the authentic Victorian interiors, reflecting the home in which Darwin and his wife Emma raised their children. An immersive on-site exhibition guides you through Darwin's voyage aboard the Beagle from 1831-36, his scientific discoveries and the impact of his revolutionary theories on Victorian society. Continue your voyage outside to the extensive gardens and explore key parts of the site where Darwin undertook some of his experiments!

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Expert-led Discovery Visits

Let our experts bring history to life during an immersive Discovery Visit. Students will investigate Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. They'll get to grips with scientific equipment, understand the context of Darwin’s work and explore key parts of the house and garden. 

Our Discovery Visit has been adapted to follow health and safety guidelines and will still offer your students a quality and fun learning experience.

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Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and for Covid-19 risk assessments and measures we’ve got in place please visit our what to expect page.

Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip. We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: There is space for one coach, which must be pre-booked: please specify when booking your visit if you require this space. Disabled bays are available in the car park. Please note that we cannot always accept coaches at the weekend or on a Bank Holiday. If you need to travel by coach on a Saturday or Sunday, you will need to be dropped off and the coach will need to park elsewhere. Please do not park in the local village.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: Unfortunately the education space is currently closed.
    • TOILETS: Male, female and accessible toilets are available on site.
    • LUNCH: Grassed picnic area with picnic benches. The tearoom serves a selection of sandwiches, cold platters, soups, ice-creams and hot food in the winter.
    • SHOP: The shop sells a selection of English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. Please bring your class in small groups at a time. 
    • ACCESS: The newly-opened meadow and some pathways including the sandwalk can be difficult for wheelchair users.
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