History Curriculum Centre artefact collections for loan

The History Curriculum Centre offers a range of artefact collections linked to the National Curriculum history programmes of study for Key Stages 1-3

These put the wow factor into history topics, engaging pupils and making them eager to learn.

Download the artefact collections catalogue

Hiring artefact boxes

Please phone the History Curriculum Centre on 01962 874802 to check the availability of your required loan collection(s), before completing our online order form.

Hampshire County Council schools - please ask your Finance Officer to fill in the order form as finance codes against which the cost of the loans will be charged are required.

Other schools - please ensure that your Finance Officer knows about your intended loans, as your school will be invoiced for the cost of any loans.

History Curriculum Centre artefact boxes order form

Available collections
Key Stage 1

Within and beyond living memory

Changing technology

We have recently assembled a new collection that explores how everyday technology has changed over time. The collection includes objects, images and timelines relating to household technology, cameras, telephones, music, writing and other communication technology. We have also included images and a timeline to explore changing transport. Also suitable to support a KS2 thematic study.

Nursery rhymes

For the youngest children, these artefacts illuminate five well-known rhymes, via practical, fun activities that lead them on their first steps into the past.

Toys, games and pastimes

Toys, games and pastimes children’s parents and grandparents will be familiar with for exploring change in a familiar context.

Toys, games and pastimes and Changing toys, games and pastimes

Toys, games and pastimes adults will be familiar with, but including some matched items from different decades to illustrate the concept of change more explicitly. Changing toys includes some matched items from different decades to illustrate the concept of change more explicitly.

Home life within living memory

Explores what home life was like when mummy or granny, or even great-granny were girls, particularly in terms of domestic chores. Can be used to make your home corner into a home from the past. with directed roles to play and tasks to complete.

Victorian home life

Looks at the home life of a rich Victorian family and their servants using a lively story which mentions each artefact to illustrate how the items were used and by whom. What is different from children’s home life today?

How school life has changed

Features items for the Victorian era, when education became universal, through to the 1990s. Ideal for approaching the difficult concept of change and involving adults to talk, or be questioned, about their school days.

Victorian schools

If your school has been established for some time, you may want to base your local study around it. Could also be used as part of a thematic study of education over time.

Holidays within living memory

How have holidays changed within living memory? What has changed and what has stayed the same since the 1950/60s?

Victorian seaside

Explore a Victorian family’s seaside holiday via a lively story (included) which mentions most of the artefacts. Then create a vivid display or museum exhibit.

Castle life

Recreate life in a medieval castle and role play creating a banquet fit for the Lord and Lady using the cooking equipment, tableware and sumptuous wall hangings.

Significant past events and individuals

Great Fire of London

Explore the fire through artefacts, timeline story, maps and other resources. How well does a bucket chain/ squirt work?

Titanic trunk

An historic event with many local links, this collection is designed to offer an intriguing mystery for pupils to solve as a stimulus for a study of the sinking of the Titanic.

World War II evacuees

Explore what life would have been like for the children and their teachers/carers who were evacuated during WW2.

World War II home front

Brings to life a study of life on the home front during the Second World War. What was life like for the men, women and children who remained in Britain during the war?

World War I

For exploring the event, commemorating the centenaries of major battles and its ending, or for annual Remembrance events.

Mary Anning

Explores the life and work of the young girl who discovered and understood the fossilized remains prehistoric creatures yet whose achievements were only fully recognised in recent times.

Queens: Lives and times

Costume and role play items join artefacts relating to Elizabeth I, Queen Victorian and Elizabeth II to help pupils compare their lives and what life was like at the times they lived and ruled, particularly in relation to all forms of communication.

Florence Nightingale

Locally, nationally and internationally famous, through this collection children encounter evidence of Florence’s work and legacy.

Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole worked in the Crimea, at the same time as Florence Nightingale but in a different way. Although as famous as Florence at the time, memory of her almost faded until recently.

Key Stage 2

Stone, Bronze and Iron Age

Explore the tools and weapons people who lived so long ago managed to make from the very limited range of natural resources available to them and to explore the technological changes that took place across the three periods.

Life in Roman Britannia

Explores the lifestyles of Britons and Romans/Romano-Britons and prompts pupils to investigate whether Roman innovations and introductions impacted everyone living in Roman Britannia and if they all outlasted the Roman occupation.

Roman soldiers: fighters or builders?

Explores the pivotal role the Roman army played in the Romanisation of Roman provinces like Britannia and why they were nicknamed Marius’ Mules.

Roman villa excavation

Create a mock excavation of a Roman villa site with fragmentary items that would be found during such a dig, to explore how historians and archaeologists work and how we know about Roman life.

Anglo-Saxon life through death

Explores what grave goods can tell us about Saxon life and culture, including men’s and women’s roles. Also explores conversion from paganism to Christianity by examining changing burial practices.

The Maya

Explore this mysterious civilization through artefacts, books and other resources that illustrate aspects of Mayan life, knowledge and beliefs.

Ancient Greek life

Illustrates many aspects of ancient Greek life, their achievements and their influence on us today, from mathematics, philosophy, politics, justice and theatre to religion, medicine and the Olympics.

Egyptian achievements

This collection asks pupils to decode evidential images from real Egyptian tombs and match them to replica artefacts to see what they tell us about Egyptian technology and other achievements.

Viking life

Explores aspects of Viking life and culture such as war and conflict, daily life, beliefs.

Local, Post 1066 and Thematic studies

Life in Tudor times

Explores different aspects of Tudor life for schools that may be studying the Tudors as part of a local or post-1066 study.

Victorian schools

If your school has Victorian buildings , you may want to base your local study around it and use the artefacts to help stage a Victorian school day

Victorian seaside

Schools close to the coast may want to use nearby Victorian resorts for their local study. This collection allows a linked exploration of seaside clothing and entertainments from the time.

Titanic trunk

This tragic event has many local links in the south of the county. The collection can be used as a stimulus for your study and also includes sources of information.

World War II evacuees

Colleagues in areas blitzed during World War II may be exploring this as their local or post-1066 study. If so this collection might link well to show what life would have been like for the children and their teachers/carers who were evacuated during World War II.

World War II home front

For those schools looking at WWII as a post-1066 study this collection brings to life what life on the home front was like for the men, women and children who remained in Britain during the war.


World War I

For exploring the event, commemorating the centenaries of major battles and its ending, or for annual Remembrance events.

Lighting through time

Today, with the flick of a switch we can have light wherever we need it, but it was not that simple in the past, as this collection demonstrates.

Mystery objects

A collection of unusual objects to practice the skill of deduction – What is it? Who might have used it? How does it work? What period is it from?


From September 2023 charges for loans to subscribing schools will be:

£25 for 1 week collect/return in person
£40 for 2 weeks collect/return in person
£50 for County Supplies delivered loans

Note: for County Supplies delivered loans, boxes will be in school for 2 weeks between the school's delivery/collection days within a three week slot.

Charges for longer loans will be calculated using the prices quoted above.

Non-Hampshire schools will be charged VAT at 20%. Non-subscribing schools will be charged an additional £35 per loan.

A cancellation fee will be charged for loans that are cancelled at less than three weeks notice (half the loan fee plus £5 administration cost). Loans that are no longer required but have not been cancelled will be charged in full.

We reserve the right to charge for replacement of any lost or damaged artefacts.

Terms and conditions for artefact loans