An independent, family-owned gallery

The Old Courthouse Gallery is an independent, family-owned gallery situated in the historic centre of Ambleside in the English Lake District.

The building we are in was built in 1856 as the town’s court house but for many years was occupied by a drapers shop. In 1994 the gallery was created from this, undergoing a very sympathetic transformation that retained all the existing character and features. At the same time, the space was fitted with a spacious and decorative mezzanine level, designed and constructed by renowned blacksmith Chris Brammall. Later, in 2021, the ground floor was extended into an adjacent property, adding further new display space.

As a result, we have a beautiful main gallery upstairs, which is bathed in natural light from the many large, original Victorian windows. This is complemented by the open mezzanine area and our ‘Chambers’ side room which has a more cosy feel and is often used for exhibitions. Downstairs we have the entrance room and the Ruskin room, both of which showcase a wide selection of work. Together, our various rooms display the original work of over 100 artists.

We work hard to select a strong range of art and crafts, with the aim of displaying a wide variety of styles, and of a high quality. We are keen to support local and emerging artists alongside those who are more established and from elsewhere in the UK. And we are more than just a gallery for paintings – we have very strong collections of art glass, ceramics and sculpture, alongside furniture and jewellery. With a visitor base that ranges from tourists passing through the Lakes to serious long-term collectors, we truly have something for everyone.