turner house

Ffotogallery at Turner House

Plymouth Road, Penarth CF64 3DHFfotogallery Turner House 2015turner house 407 x 268turner-house-407-x-268

Ffotogallery’s exhibition programme and gallery based educational activities take place at Turner House.

General enquiries

Tel: 029 2034 1667

Email: [email protected]

Opening times

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5pm (except for exhibition changeover times)

Admission free

Getting there

Ffotogallery, Turner House is situated on Plymouth Road around the corner from Penarth train station.


We recommend taking the train if coming from outside of Penarth. Trains from Cardiff Central to Penarth run approximately 4 times an hour and take 15 minutes (check before travelling).


From Cardiff centre buses 92, 93 and 94 take you within 1 minute’s walk of the gallery.


Short stay on street parking is available outside the front of the gallery and across the road. There is also on street parking in the residential streets surrounding the gallery.


Large print texts are available and guide dogs are welcome throughout the building. Please phone us on 029 2070 8870 if you require any assistance.

We regret that currently only the ground floor of the gallery is wheelchair accessible and we do not have toilet facilities on this floor.

The History of Turner House

James Pyke Thompson, a wealthy Penarth resident conceived the idea of building Turner House Gallery, so named in homage to the painter, in 1888. Quite the philanthropist, Thompson used the gallery to further one of his social concerns; that the public should be able to view the contents of museums and galleries on the one day, Sunday, when they could be seen by the largest number of people. Turner House thus became known as ‘The Sunday Gallery’.

Originally the gallery was housed on the first floor of the building with the downstairs area being used for the custodian’s accommodation. The gallery opened in June 1888 with the show consisting of work from Thompson’s private collection. This included paintings by J.M.W Turner and Dante Gabriel Rossetti as well as some examples of porcelain.

Thompson continued to make acquisitions to his collection until his death in 1897. Without his support and enthusiasm however the gallery gradually lost the public’s interest and attendance figures dwindled. In 1921 the Trustee’s decided to hand over Turner House and its contents to the National Museum of Wales.

During the advent of World War II Turner House was requisitioned and used by the RAF for its ‘Women’s Section’. When the gallery was subsequently de-requisitioned in 1944 an Art Sub-Committee met to resolve the gallery’s future. It was decided that Turner House would exhibit works from the National Museum’s reserve collection and temporary exhibitions. The building was slightly structurally modified and re-opened in 1950, where it continued exhibiting shows organised by the National Museum until 2003, when Ffotogallery took over responsibility for programming.

Group Visit

If you’re planning a visit to the gallery,  download our free guide Turner House: Planning Your Visit, which suggests ideas and ways that teachers / group leaders can make the most of a visit to Ffotogallery and feel confident to use the exhibitions independently if necessary.

Included are ideas for preparation, gallery-based activities and follow up work that we hope you will find stimulating and useful for your group. Please adapt them or select those that best suit the exhibition and the ages / abilities of your group.

If you require further information; are interested in organising a group visit to the gallery; or taking advantage of our free talks and events programme, please contact the education team at Turner House on 029 2034 1667 or email [email protected]​.org