Old Speech Room Gallery, Harrow School

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The Old Speech Room was built in 1819-21 as a chamber in which to encourage public speaking. It was converted into a gallery by Alan Irvine in 1976 as a repository for the School's varied and distinguished collection of antiquities and fine art. The Gallery runs the Old Speech Room Gallery Arts Society, through which boys help to design and curate exhibitions.

Venue Type:

Historic house or home

Opening hours

The Gallery is open every day, except Wednesday and exeat days, during term-time: 2.30pm - 5.00pm. From time to time the Gallery is used by the School so please call ahead to check availability.

For further information, including details of closures, telephone 020 8872 8205 or email crl@harrowschool.org.uk or wdriver@harrowschool.org.uk

Admission charges

Admission to the Gallery is FREE.

The collections comprise Egyptian and Greek antiquities, English watercolours, Modern British paintings, some sculpture, printed books and natural history. There is also a set of Stuart Devlin's parcel gilt Easter eggs, designed in the tradition of Fabergé. Each egg contains a surprise when opened, such as a jester, a fish in seaweed or a mouse in a wedge of cheese. Sir Winston Churchill's A Distant View of Venice 1929 is one of the highlights of the collection. It is an excellent example of his robust and energetic style. Churchill was above all a colourist. He captured the essence of Venetian colour in the city, the clouds, the boats and their reflections in the water. The bravura brushwork gives texture to the surface of the canvas, from the impasto in the sky to the long, fluid strokes in the water. His enthusiasm was inexhaustible. In his essay Painting as a Pastime, he wrote: 'When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the subject.' Not all of these collections can be displayed simultaneously, but the following items are usually on show: antiquities, paintings by Romney, Sir Winston Churchill, David Jones, Victor Pasmore and Richard Shirley Smith, portrait busts of Old Harrovians such as Sheridan and Byron, and natural history. In addition, the School has a policy of showing its treasures in a series of themed exhibitions.

Collection details

Archaeology, Fine Art, Personalities

Key artists and exhibits

  • Romney
  • Sir Winston Churchill
  • David Jones
  • Victor Pasmore
  • Sheridan
  • Byron

Old Speech Room Gallery, Harrow School
Harrow School
Church Hill
Harrow on the Hill
Greater London







020 8872 8205


020 8423 3112

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.