Abbot Hall Gallery

Located next to the parish church in Kendal, Cumbria this site got its name from the abbot's buildings that were located here until the land was signed over to the crown during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. Subsequently various industries plied their trade from this location due to it being next to the river Kent. In 1757 a Colonel George Wilson bought the land for the sum of £850, building the Georgian style house shown in my post. Colonel Wilson and his wife only lived here for under ten years, before letting then selling it for much less than it had cost to build. One reason was frequent flooding by the river and the small size of the adjoining estate that couldn't support itself. Eventually in the 19th century Kendal Corporation (local authority) bought Abbot Hall, wanting to turn the area into a public park. The building itself was left to deteriorate until the 1950s when demolition was proposed. Thankfully local residents and philanthropists, including author Alfred Wainwright, raised funds to restore Abbot Hall and convert it into an art gallery. It opened in 1962 and since then has purchased, been loaned and bequeathed a large collection of paintings and art work. Nowadays it is managed by Lakelands Arts Trust who also manage Blackwell House.

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