Abbot Hall was designed as a opulent house by architect John Carr of York in 1759 for Colonel George Wilson of Dallam Tower. Recognised as Kendal's finest building, it was lived in by a succession of different families over the next century. It was purchased by the Kendal Corporation in 1896 for £3,750.
Together with the Castle and the Parish Church, Abbot Hall was the only Grade I listed building in Kendal. By the 1950s it was almost derelict and threatened with demolition until a group of local people formed a charitable trust and raised money to save it. It opened as a public art gallery in 1962.
Today Kendal’s finest historic house is an award winning art gallery. Our exhibitions showcase a variety of works by a wealth of international artists. The Georgian period rooms allow you to glimpse what life was like in another time and provide views of the River Kent and Kendal Castle.