Penlee House welcomes group visits. If you are planning a school visit, further information can be found on our Schools page.
Size of groups
Penlee House was built as a Victorian family home, so the galleries are domestic in size. Because of this, unfortunately we cannot accommodate groups larger than 25 people at a time, however, we can split larger groups in two and will repeat the introductory talk as necessary. One half of the group could take a refreshment break whilst the other half look around.
Time of Arrival
Due to the size of the galleries and restriction on numbers it is important that you arrive on time. To provide you with a safe and enjoyable visit, we will ensure that your visit does not clash with other groups. If your plans change for any reason, please inform the Gallery.
We are usually able to offer a free 10–15 minute introductory talk about Penlee House and the current exhibition. This facility depends on staff availability and must be booked in advance. If you would like us to focus on a specific subject or area of the collections, please let us know at the time of booking and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
Where possible, please pay for the group with a single transaction. This is especially helpful when paying with cash. We take most major credit and debit cards. Please make cheques payable to Penzance Town Council. We can arrange invoiced payments – please ask at the time of booking.
What is on show
Please check the Exhibitions page for details of what will be on show during your planned visit. Penlee House usually presents four temporary exhibitions each year. These are planned two or three years ahead. If your visit is a long way ahead and beyond the scope of the published programme, please contact us for details.
Each exhibition has a direct relevance to west Cornwall. Including works from the permanent collection alongside loans from public and private collections. When our main exhibition does not relate to the Newlyn School, a selection of works by these artists are on show.
The museum contains archaeological treasures and objects illustrating the fascinating social history of west Cornwall.
All our exhibitions contain works lent by private and public collections. Loan agreements often specify that we must not allow photography of the items. Because of this, we do not allow any photography anywhere in the gallery or museum.
Copyright usually remains the property of the artist’s estate for 70 years after the artist’s death. For this reason, many of the paintings on display are still within copyright, even if they belong to us.
Postcards, greeting cards and prints of the most popular images are available in our shop.
Bags and Backpacks
To prevent accidental damage to the works on show, we do not allow visitors to carry backpacks on backs. We have a cupboard for locking away bags, at the owner’s risk. You may carry your bag by hand if preferred.
The Orangery is a small on-site cafe serving delicious light lunches and snacks. It has limited seating and cannot accommodate large groups. Please contact the Orangery on +44 (0)1736 361325 to discuss your requirements. Please note that it is not possible to book tables in the cafe.