Inspection and Advisory Service (HIAS)

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 most history topics, engaging pupils and making them eager to learn.

Please telephone the History Curriculum Centre on Tel: 01962 874802, to check the availability of your required collection, before completing our online form. Early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.

  • Within and beyond living memory

  • Significant people and events

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Toys, games and pastimes

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Florence Nightingale

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Victorian home life

    Explores the home life of a rich Victorian family and their servants via a lively story featuring the artefacts. How was life then different from children’s home life today?

  • Great Fire of London

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

  • How school life has changed

    Explores the changes in school life between the Victorian era and the 1980-1990s, for pupils to compare to their own school experience.

  • 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.

  • Victorian schools

    Looks at what school life was like in Victorian times, when pupils sat in rigid rows and learned by rote.

  • World War II evacuees

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

  • Holidays within living memory

    Explores how holidays changed over the 20th Century to prompt pupils to compare this aspect of the past with today.

  • 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?

  • Victorian seaside

    Explore a Victorian family’s seaside holiday via a lively story featuring the artefacts. How are holidays today different from holidays then?s

  • World War I

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

  • Washday

    More domestic items from the past but these relate to washing clothes, which in the quite recent past could take all day!

  • 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.


Stone, Bronze and Iron Age

Features the tools and weapons people made from the very limited resources available to them. Allows exploration of the technological changes that took place across the periods.

Roman life

Explores the lifestyle of Romans/Romano-Britons in Roman Britannia. Includes a small excavation activity relating to a villa site.

Roman soldiers: fighters or builders?

Explores the pivotal role the Roman army played in the Romanisation of Roman provinces like Britannia.

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 aspects of the Anglo-Saxon period, by examining what grave goods tell us about Saxon life and culture, including men’s and women’s roles and religious changes (from paganism to Christianity).

The Maya

Explores aspects of Mayan life.

Ancient Greek life

Illustrates aspects of ancient Greek life, 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 match artefacts to images from real Egyptian tombs to explore their technology and other achievements.


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?


Hiring artefact boxes

To order the artefact boxes, complete the online form below. Please send us an internal trading document/ purchase order to confirm your request within 10 working days or we will be unable to complete your order.

Hampshire County Council schools – please forward a copy of the completed online form to your finance officer who will need to send us an internal trading document. Send the internal trading document to email:

History Curriculum Centre artefact boxes order form

Download catalogue

Artefact collections  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 8MB