Penlee House

Penlee House Art Gallery & Museum

Morrab Road, Penzance, TR18 4HE
Tel: (01736) 363625


The artistic heart of West Cornwall's history

The museum has been established in its present location in Penzance since 1949, having originally been established in the town since 1839. Following a major restoration programme which saw the gallery re-open in July 1997, displays detail the area's nature, archaeology and history and include a number of refurbished galleries using the latest computer technology. The Art Gallery houses the largest collection in West Cornwall including work by the famous Newlyn Society of Artists. Its most well-known painting is 'The Rain it Raineth Every Day' by Norman Garstin who lived for many years in Wellington Terrace, on the edge of the park. Gift/book shop and coffee shop with a terrace that catches the sun and overlooks a particularly peaceful section of Penlee Park.

Penlee House was originally built in 1865 as the home of the wealthy Branwell family under the directions of John Richards Branwell. The house and gardens were described in The Cornishman newspaper as ″delightful″ and a ″perfect picture″. (Mr Branwell owned the newspaper!) On his death in 1902, one of his daughter's, Edith looked after the estate and house, and on her death in 1918 it passed to her elder brother, Alfred. Following Alfred's death in 1939, the property passed to his two daughters, Mrs Vera Hancock and Mrs Sybil Ferguson who sold the house and estate to Penzance Borough Council in 1946. The council purchased Penlee Park as a memorial to the dead of World War II and Penlee House was formally opened as the Penzance District Museum in 1949. In 1974 the ownership of the museum and park passed to Penwith District Council, and since 1985 Penzance Town Council owns and operates the site.

From 19th January to 9th March 2013, an exhibition, Troika Pottery 1963-1983, was held at the Penlee House Gallery and Museum, celebrating fifty years since the inception of Troika, which included a number of prototypes by Leslie Illsley. Benny Sirota attended the opening, and explained the origin of the company's name: "my grandfather escaped from Russia dressed as a woman on a troika – a sledge with three horses...there were three of us who started the firm – and it just gelled."


The Orangery Café is the perfect place for morning coffee, a light lunch or afternoon tea with delicious homemade cakes. Food freshly prepared to order. During your visit, relax for a while in our licensed cafe, with its sunny terrace overlooking the park.


A short walk inland from Penzance promenade.

Opening Times

Monday - Friday, 10.30am - 4.30pm
Saturday, 10.30am - 12.30pm

Admission Charged

National Lighthouse Museum       Newlyn Art Gallery       Penzance       Cornwall's History       Morrab Gardens

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens       Trewidden Garden