Penlee House preserves and makes accessible the history and culture of west Cornwall.
Built in 1865 as a gracious Victorian home, Penlee House has been converted to create a first class gallery and museum set within an attractive park. It specialises in showing the area’s unique cultural heritage incorporating the historic collections of Penzance Town Council, Cornwall Council and Newlyn Art Gallery.
A programme of changing exhibitions celebrates the skill and craftsmanship of painting in west Cornwall in the late ninetheenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Art Collection
Penlee House has a permanent collection of paintings which is actively being developed. Some of the best known works from the renowned Newlyn School include The Rain it Raineth Every Day by Norman Garstin , School is Out by Elizabeth Forbes, Among the Missing by Walter Langley and On Paul Hill by Stanhope Forbes. Please check the What’s On – Exhibitions section to find out what is on show before making a special journey.
Founded in 1839, the museum collections cover 6000 years of history in west Cornwall, from Penwith’s awe-inspiring archaeological sites to the area’s more recent social history. The recently refurbished social history gallery houses a wealth of artefacts covering the area’s fascinating and often quirky heritage.
The Orangery Cafe
Our licensed cafe, with its terrace overlooking the park, offers a range of coffees, afternoon tea with home baked cakes and freshly prepared light lunches, using the best of local produce.
Families and children
There is a varied programme of free, drop-in ‘make and take’ workshops on Saturdays from 2.30pm to 3.30pm as well as bookable or drop-in activities during the school holidays. We also have quizzes and a range of ‘help-yourself’ colouring activities to keep the little ones occupied. Visit the events page for more information about our family programme.
Mail Order and Online Shop
Our well-stocked shop offers a wide range of prints, books, gifts and souvenirs. A mail order service is available.
The Friends of Penlee House
The Friends, a registered charity, provide voluntary help in the Gallery and raise funds to support our work. Benefits include free admission, shop discount, invitations to previews and a winter lecture programme: please visit the Friends page for further details.
If you are interested in using an image of a painting from our collections, please contact Bridgeman Art Library +44 (0)20 7727 4065. For images from our photography collection, please contact us on +44 (0)1736 363625.