Penlee House Gallery & Museum

Penlee House Gallery & Museum

Set in semi-tropical gardens, it was built in 1865 for JR Branwell, a wealthy merchant related to the Brontë family. In 1949 it was was taken over by Penzance Town Council and transformed into a district museum. Successive remodellings and extensions have turned it into a lively and popular place, with excellent space for its collections as well as temporary exhibitions, of which there are around five a year.

This popular museum and art gallery is set in a building that was originally a Victorian family home, surrounded by a delightful sub-tropical park formed from the original garden. Changing exhibitions throughout the year celebrate the rich artistic heritage of West Cornwall. There is a well stocked bookshop that also sells cards, prints and gifts. The Orangery Cafe has a variety of delicious cakes, specialty teas and coffees and a lunch menu. There is additional seating on the terrace outside.


Cornwall's unique landscape has been inhabited and shaped by people over many millennia. West Cornwall has a very distinctive character, recognised as an internationally important ancient landscape. It has a concentration of archaeological remains spanning the centuries from the prehistoric period through to the 19th century.

Natural History

The Natural History collections date back to Penlee House's origins as the museum for Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society, who collected examples of both local and exotic flora and fauna.

Fine Art

Penlee House has a permanent collection of paintings which is actively being developed through purchases, gifts, bequests and long-term loans. We house the UK's largest collection of works by Newlyn and Lamorna Group artists.


The photography collection includes thousands of photographs of the area from around 1870 up to the present day, including images of the Newlyn School artists at work and play and personal albums originally owned by the Branwell family of Penlee House.

Social History

Founded in 1839, the museum's social history collection is focussed on the fascinating social history of the far west of Cornwall, including industries such as fishing, mining, farming, tourism and local industries such as Newlyn Copper and Crysede textiles.


Morrab Road



TR18 4HE

Telephone: +44(0)1736 363625