Learning Experiences at Shire Hall, Monmouth for KS2

The Shire Hall, Monmouth, is a grade 1 listed building with a certain notoriety and a long history. It was purpose built as the County Court in 1724 and, since that date, has been home to the Assizes and Quarter Sessions and, later, the Borough and Magistrates Court. It was even a designated public air raid shelter during WW2, but it’s the events of 1839/40 that really put Shire Hall on the map when it hosted the infamous trial of the Monmouthshire Chartists.

Today we offer a range of unique learning experiences that make the most of this building and its history. We also offer the opportunities for pupils to build and try other, less infamous, cases based on real trials that took place at Shire Hall. Coal and Crime looks at poverty and crime on Victorian Monmouthshire while Rationing Rotters explores the unique nature of crime in WW2.

Trials, Treason and Transportation

You can explore the origins of our democratic system through our Chartist workshop Trials, Treason and Transportation and re-enact the trial of John Frost in the very courtroom where it happened.

Coal and Crime

In 1829 an eleven year old girl was tried and sentenced at Shire Hall for stealing 3 pieces of coal. Who was this girl? Did she commit the crime? Why would she steal coal? What was her punishment? The answers to all these questions and more are explored in this hands-on historical courtroom drama.

Rationing Rotters

Based on real-life cases we piece together the evidence to discover a different side of wartime Monmouthshire. From blackout blunders to black marketeers, our historic courtroom is the perfect place to put on trial those accused of Home Front fiddles!

Sirens and Shelters

Our Sirens and Shelters workshop continues the WW2 theme at Shire Hall. Visit our authentic public air raid shelter, discover how war on the Home Front changed the lives of Monmouth people and explore a wide range of WW2 topics through lively object handling sessions.


Why not make a day of it?

Combine history with nature and pick and mix from the menu above to maximise your time with us at Shire Hall.

Click here to view our workshop booking information for teachers.

If you have any questions about learning experiences at Shire Hall please contact the learning team on 07929 044653 or 07790 954802 or email karinmolson@monmouthshire.gov.uk or helenhenley@monmouthshire.gov.uk