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Penrith and Eden Museum

A brief history of Penrith and Eden Museum


Penrith and Eden Museum is housed in the old Robinson's School building, which was established in 1670 for the education of poor girls.  The building continued to be used as a school for three hundred years.

It now houses Penrith and Eden Museum and Penrith Tourist Information Centre (TIC).



Explore the Museum Collections

Some of the Museum Collections date from the town's first Museum, founded in 1883. Inside you can explore the archaeology, art, social, cultural and natural history and  geology of Penrith and the surrounding area.

On display, for example, from the sandstone of the Eden Valley, a fossil footprint of a creature which lived before the Dinosaurs, objects from the Stone Age and a range of finds from the Roman period including the hoard of Roman coins from Newby, near Shap and a piece of Roman gold jewellery from Brougham.


A gallery is dedicated to exploring the Neolithic age in the Eden valley and a fascinating short film by Aaron Watson 'Stones from the Sky', can be viewed all about Cumbrian Neolithic stone axes. 

The medieval seal of Penrith and the old market toll measures are on display. There are also mementos of the Crimean War hero Trooper William Pearson, local wrestling celebrity William Jameson and Percy Toplis the 'Monocled Mutineer.'

Another gallery features the geology of the area, with displays of local minerals and fossils, a 'spar box' and some tools from a local mine.

Some art is displayed including iconic works by the Victorian Penrith painter
Jacob Thompson and other local artists, past and contemporary.

Further details of the Museum's Art collection can be found on the Art UK website.

An Accredited Museum

Penrith and Eden Museum's application for renewal of its Accreditation status by Arts Council England (ACE) was successful in 2018. The Accreditation scheme is the national agreed standard for museums and galleries in the UK.

The Museum is now an Arts Award supporter, offering activities that young people can use towards their Arts Award. These include workshops, arts and cultural events which they can review, opportunities to find out about artists and cultural opportunities and a chance to share skill.


Special events and activities

In addition to displaying items of local interest, the museum organises a varied programme of special events and activities throughout the year. There are also 'finds days' where a Portable Antiquities Officer visits the Museum to examine and identify your 'finds.'

October Half Term Drop in Day

Tuesday October 22 - October Half Term Drop in Day - Learn how to make felt and create a magical mask to wear at the Winter Droving!  All with artist Karen MacDougall. Free admission.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Current Exhibition

September to December 2019: In Reserve: More Pictures From The Collection.... A sequel to the 'New Subjects: Modern Artworks from the Collection' held at the Museum Winter 2017-2018.


Learning and Education

The Museum also holds education workshops for local schools and community groups and has been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality badge.

The Friends of Penrith and Eden Museum

The Friends of Penrith and Eden Museum are an independent group who meet between September and April and host talks on subjects of local and national interest. They support the Museum, assist in the acquisition of local exhibits and give talks on local history. Visitors are always welcome to meetings.

Plan your visit

Admission to the Museum is FREE.

The Museum is open all year.

Summer: Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sundays 11am to 4pm. 

Winter: April to October, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.


What visitors say

Visitors to the Museum are from far and wide, with visitors from Europe and beyond including the USA, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. The visitors book has some lovely comments from visitors such as "little gem," "hidden treasure," "what a wonderful surprise," "a lovely little Museum," and "worth a visit."

Read the TripAdvisor reviews.


There is disabled access to all ground floor galleries. The upper floor 'Ages of Eden' geology display can be seen from a ground floor computer kiosk. An illustrated and descriptive printed guide is also available. A hearing induction loop is installed in the galleries.

Latest News from the Museum

Tobacco Jar dated 1897 given to Penrith and Eden Museum

A tobacco jar which appears to have been made at the Wetheriggs pottery near Penrith in the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 has recently been given to the Museum.

New Treasure for Penrith and Eden Museum

New finds from the Eden area are now on display at Penrith and Eden Museum.  These include a Charles 1st medallion from Kirkby Stephen, a medieval coin hoard from Crosby Ravensworth and a gold and amethyst gemstone ring from Waitby.  Read the full story in our news section.

Museum's Art Council Accreditation Status renewed

Penrith and Eden Museum's application to Arts Council (England) for renewal of its Accredited Museum status, last awarded in 2013, has been successful.  Read the full story in our news section.

Penrith and Eden Museum wins National Lottery support to launch 'Landmarks of Eden' project

Thanks to National Lottery players, Penrith and Eden Museum has received £3,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, 'Landmarks of Eden'. The project explores the ways in which the landscape and landmarks of the Eden Valley affect the people who live here.  Read the full story in our news section.

BBC Antiques Road episode filmed in Penrith and Eden Museum

The popular BBC TV series, Antiques Road Trip, made by STV Productions visited Penrith and Eden Museum to interview Museum Curator, Corinna Leenen about William Jameson (1837-1888), Penrith's famous Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling champion.  The programme aired in July 2018.

Contact Penrith and Eden Museum

Robinson's School, Middlegate, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 7PT