Abbot Hall Art Gallery – Kendal

Abbot Hall

In 1759 by Colonel George Wilson, this Grade I listed villa in Kendal, England was built on the first Abbot Hall site. It was originally used as a residence by the Abbot or his representatives when visiting from the St, Mary’s York mother church. After the monasteries were dissolved the estate did not have much success as a private residence. The Wilsons went off to live in York after a few years. A number of different families lived in the villa before it finally became bank property in the 19th century.

Creative Commons License photo credit: pixelsandpaper

Acquired in 1897 by the Kendal Borough Council, the grounds were turned into a local park. The house itself however, was left uncared for. In 1962 the Lake District Art Gallery Trust raised funds to renovate the home. It has since been an art gallery which has housed a number of collections.

Visitors coming to this museum can expect t see an extensive collection of George Romney paintings. These include portraits from both his early works and masterpieces. The Abbot Hall Art Gallery is also home to paintings from the 18th Century from Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, Daniel Gardner, Allan Ramsay and Daniel Gardner. Many of these works are hung within the Gregorian Room. The 18th century collection also include a large amount of watercolors from J R Cozens, Edward Lear, David Cox, John Sell Cotman, Peter De Wint and John Varley. The watercolors also include works from the 19th Century. Visitors will also find works of John Ruskins and Contemporary art works.

The Abbot Gallery Art Museum is open from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. However, it closes earlier (4:00 pm) on selected months. The gallery is closed on Sundays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Admission for adults is £6.00 and £6.60 for those who choose to Gift Aid. The National Art Pass is priced at £3.00 with the permanent collection being viewed for free. A special discounted price can be availed of for groups of 10 or more people. Children below 18 and full time students (up to the age of 25) may come in for free. Friends, Aids and Benefactors are also welcome free of charge.  Each week a gallery talk is held at 2 pm. It comes free with admission. The museum also has a coffee shop where visitors can buy food and drinks. For more information about the Abbot Gallery, visit their website at