Gainsborough's House

Gainsborough's House
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Gainsborough's House is a museum and gallery at the childhood home of Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), one of the greatest artists in the history of British art. It has the largest collection of Gainsborough's work on display in a single setting.

The house itself dates from around 1500 and retains many interesting architectural features. Its Georgian facade, and other elegant additions, date from the eighteenth century. The centrepiece of the beautiful walled garden is a large mulberry tree which dates back to Gainsborough's childhood.

Venue Type:

Historic house or home, Gallery, Garden, parklands or rural site, Museum, Heritage site, Library, Artist studio or collective

Opening hours

Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 11am-5pm

Closed: Good Friday and between Christmas and New Year.

Admission charges

Adults: £6.50*

Family: £15.00*

Children and Students: £2.00

Under 5s: Free

Groups of 10 or more: £5 per person

Friends and Art Fund members: Free

*This includes additional income from Gift Aid, which makes a big difference to us, but if you would prefer not to make this contribution the admission prices are:

Adults: £5.90

Family: £13.50


  • National Art Pass

The Gainsborough’s House permanent collection encompasses the artist’s whole career, from early portraits and landscapes painted in Suffolk during the 1750s, to later works from his Bath and London periods of the 1760s, 70s and 80s.

The collection of works on paper includes drawings by Gainsborough and his contemporaries, as well as prints by or after Gainsborough and other eighteenth-century artists. There is a selection of rare books and manuscripts from the period, including a number of Gainsborough’s letters.

We also have artefacts and items that formerly belonged to Gainsborough, including his studio cabinet, swordstick, paint scraper and pocket-watch.

The permanent collection is augmented by several loans of paintings and drawings from public and private collections.

For more information, and to search the Gainsborough's House Collection Online, visit

Collection details

Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Personalities, Design, Costume and Textiles, Architecture, Social History, Religion, Literature

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Augustus John

Face to Face: Portraits from the Andrew Lambirth collection

  • 11 June — 16 October 2016 *on now

The art critic and author Andrew Lambirth bought his first painting as a student at Nottingham University in the late 1970s. Since then he has built up a collection of paintings, drawings and prints which focuses on the artists he has known and written about. Modern British art is his chief enthusiasm. As he says: ‘I still find it hard to believe that I have on my walls pictures by some of the artists I first read about as a star-struck teenager poring over John Rothenstein’s Modern English Painters.’

Lambirth’s collection is testament to what can be achieved with a modest budget and assiduous searching. Undoubtedly his connections in the art world have helped. He began his career with a brief spell as a porter at Sotheby’s, and his acquaintance with a wide range of commercial art galleries must now equal his knowledge of public galleries and museums. He collects by artist but also by theme: one of his chosen themes is trees, another is self-portraits.

This exhibition concentrates on portraits and self-portraits drawn from his collection, in a variety of media, from etchings and lithographic prints, to collage, oil painting and pencil drawing. The range is wide: from the gentle surrealism of Eileen Agar to the witty Pop art of Allen Jones, via Maggi Hambling’s ink portrait of her father and Laetitia Yhap’s pregnant nude self-portrait. Artists include Augustus John, David Jones, RB Kitaj, Leon Kossoff, John Nash and Walter Sickert, along with a host of lesserknown but intriguing figures. There are both formal pictures made for exhibition, and others which are quick studies. Here is something for all tastes: fine drawing, humour, sonorous colour, the human condition in all its variety. The only unifying factor is that the collection is one man’s taste.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Exhibition included as part of standard entry to Gainsborough's House of £5.90. Children and Students £2.00 (under 5s free). Art Fund members free.


Gainsborough's House
46 Gainsborough Street
CO10 2EU




01787 372958


01787 376991

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.