Penlee House

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Penlee House Gallery and Museum
Penlee House 2.jpg
Penlee House & Cross
Penlee House is located in Cornwall
Penlee House
General information
Location Penzance, Cornwall, England
Coordinates 50°6′59″N 5°32′28″W / 50.11639°N 5.54111°W / 50.11639; -5.54111

Penlee House is a museum and art gallery located in the town of Penzance in Cornwall, and is home to a great many paintings by members of the Newlyn School, including many by such luminaries as Stanhope Forbes, Norman Garstin, Walter Langley and Lamorna Birch. Penlee House is currently operated by Penzance Town Council in association with Cornwall Council. 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.


Penlee House was originally built in 1865 as the home of the wealthy Branwell family. The house was purchased by the Penzance Borough council in 1946 along with the surrounding Penlee Park as a memorial to the dead of World War II and was formally opened as the Penzance District Museum in 1949. In 1974 the ownership of this museum passed to Penwith District Council, and since 1985 Penzance Town Council owns and operates the site. The collections housed within the museum were originally taken from what remained of the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society collection (founded in 1839) which was originally housed within the dome of the Market House in Penzance. During the 1990s Penzance Town Council conducted a major refurbishment of the building providing up to date facilities for housing its important and historic art collection. On the first floor, there are rooms dedicated to the archaeology and social history of the Penwith (Land's End) peninsula, West Cornwall.

Penlee Cross[edit]

See also: Ricatus

The large granite cross situated outside the museum dates from the 11th century and has been moved, on at least three occasions, and its original location being the Green Market in Penzance. While this cross was situated in the previously stated location it formed the accepted measurement point for the then Borough of Penzance, all settlements within ½ mile of the cross being classified as being within the control of the said Borough and subject to associated local government taxation. It was moved from the Green Market in 1829 a short distance to a house in North Street but on the demolition of this house (ca. 1868) the cross was then moved to a position at the western end of the Market House. The height is 66 in (1.7 m).[1][2]


  1. ^ Thomas, Charles Penzance Market Cross: a Cornish wonder re-wondered; Penzance: Penlee House Gallery & Museum, 1999
  2. ^ Langdon, A. G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses. Truro: Pollard; pp. 308-10

External links[edit]