Welcome to Thornthwaite Galleries

A contemporary art gallery with many local artists' exhibits in the village of Thornthwaite near Keswick, Cumbria in the English Lake District

entranceFor forty years Thornthwaite Galleries has been a major attraction in the Lake District, a country gallery and a true centre of excellence for artists wanting to exhibit the very best. The gallery is housed in a 200 year old Cumbrian bank barn (see below).

In addition to paintings, both original and prints, exhibits include Jewellery, Wood turning, Sculptures(metal, ceramic and wood), Furniture, Glassware, Pottery, Photographs, Beadwork, Silk scarves, Greetings cards & Books

The changing exhibits over the years have responded to the subtle shifts in cultural expectations which inevitably takes place from season to season and continues to reflect the ever evolving tastes of the contemporary market.

The Gallery is much larger than most people expect it to be with a seemingly unending range of work in terms of it's nature, size and price. The Gallery now displays the work of over 140 exhibitors, many from Cumbria and the North West.

The exhibition area changes every fortnight, to display a larger range of work from individual artists. For details of the exhibitions goto Exhibitions.

In addition to the artistic exhibits, the Gallery offers an extensive range of giftware. Gift tokens of £10 and upwards, are available from the Gallery and provide the solution to those more difficult gift problems.

In the teashop, the Gallery can offer light refreshments and some of the warm comforts of home to those who make the journey. Guests can relax in it's gentle restful atmosphere and refresh their spirit.

Oliver & Paula Chalker are the owners and they, together with their Gallery Manager, Fiona Charlton and staff aim to make your visit a stimulating and memorable experience. The Gallery is pleased to offer exclusively Fairtrade coffee, tea and chocolate.

Free car parking is available for our customers.




The gallery is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities via an external ramp for wheelchairs and those who find difficulties with steps. We ensure that there is sufficient space between displays for easy movement of wheelchairs. Access to toilet facilities also takes the disabled visitor into account.

 View a slideshow tour of the gallery >>




Cumbrian Bank Barn


Bank barns are especially common in the upland areas of Britain, in Northumberland and Cumbria in northern England and in Devon in the south-west.

The origins of bank barns in the UK are obscure. The bank barn had made its first appearance in Cumbria by the 1660s on the farms of wealthy farmers: here farmers bought drove cattle from Scotland and fattened them over winter before selling them in spring. The great majority of bank barns were built in Cumbria between 1750 and 1860, and the last were built just before the first world war. 


Usually stone built, British bank barns are rectangular buildings. They usually have a central threshing area with hay or corn (cereal) storage bays on either side on the upper floor; and byres, stables, cartshed or other rooms below. The threshing barn on the upper floor was entered by double doors in the long wall approached from a raised bank: these banks could be artificially created. Opposite the main doors was a small winnowing door which opened high above the farmyard level. A common arrangement had an open-fronted single bay cartshed below the threshing floor, with stables on one side and a cow-house on the other. The entrances to these lower floor rooms were protected from above in many cases by a continuous canopy or pentise carried on timber or stone beams which are cantilevered from the main wall. Brick-built bank barns are less common.

As well as the true bank barns that occur in a small concentration in Devon, a variation on the bank barn is also found in Devon and Cornwall where the upper floor is accessed by external stone steps rather than the hillside or a ramp.


Thornthwaite Galleries :: Thornthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5SA, UK :: +44 (0)17687 78248 :: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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