Gainsborough's House
Gainsborough's House
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Gainsborough’s House explores the life and art of Thomas Gainsborough. One of the greatest artists of his age, he is renowned throughout the world for his portrait and landscape paintings. The house, ‘a most excellent Brickt Mansion,’ was bought by John Gainsborough, the artist’s father, in May 1722. Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) was born in Sudbury and was baptized there at the Independent Meeting-House in Friars Street on 14 May 1727. He lived here until around 1740 when, as a young teenager, he was sent to London to pursue a career as an artist. He returned to Sudbury in the spring of 1749 until 1752 when he painted his celebrated Mr and Mrs Andrews. He never lost the influence of his native town and county. ‘Nature was his teacher, and the woods of Suffolk his academy,’ noted an obituary after his death in 1788.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • makethegradetuition
    Crowborough, United Kingdom54 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Now I know what all the fuss about Gainsborough is about
    We went in the Gainsborough House and Gallery (not the modern art section so can't comment on that). It's all excellent! Well displayed selection of outstanding paintings in teh house Gainsborough lived in, interesting displays of other artists e.g. an eighteenth century cartoonist called Bunbury. Other interesting displays with good info if you want it. All displayed on own terms (no cringe modern interpretations), would unreservedly recommend. Free to Historic House members.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 August 2023
  • Richard Parish
    Yorkshire, United Kingdom5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic staff
    We chose the Gainsborough for an important family reunion. What a great team of staff! They made us feel so welcome. Nothing was too much trouble. The lunch was most enjoyable and the price reasonable. I have rarely had such attentive staff from a pub/restaurant and would most certainly visit again. My thanks to Philip, who made the booking, and all the wonderful staff who looked after us so well when we visited.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 October 2023
  • RamblerSuffolk_UK
    Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom98 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cultural gem.
    Anyone with an interest in either art or history should find time to visit Gainsborough's House Museum in Sudbury. It is small but full of interest. The museum is constructed in two parts. The front part, facing directly on to Gainsborough Road, is based on the artist's original house. It contains some artworks, not all by Gainsborough, and two or three furnished rooms which illustrate how Gainsborough may have lived in the late 17thC. The modern rear part consists of a gallery for temporary exhibitions, a superb display of, perhaps a dozen, of Gainsborough's really fine portraits, a painting room, a printing room and even a camera obscura. There is also a coffee shop in an interesting garden, complete with crinkle crankle wall. Visitors should not be put off by the juxtaposition of an ancient house with a modern suite of rooms. The marriage works. The architect deserves a prize. The museum's only fault was the coffee served in the coffee shop. I couldn't finish it.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 October 2023
  • MP M
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth a visit
    The museum hides its riches well within discreet town houses. The staff and volunteers clearly enjoy their work of making visitors welcome . Plenty to admire and enjoy in this well appointed museum. You come out with a greater appreciation of Gainsborough and somewhat emptier pockets because both the shop and cafe are full of temptations.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 20 February 2024
  • Alex W
    38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Informative and inspiring
    Great exhibitions of Gainsborough and Gillray. Cafeteria is good quality and we envied sitting out in the garden. Knowledgeable volunteers and helpful info cards help understanding of all the art. The Gillray exhibit is on until 10 March
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 February 2024
  • Hardwick
    42 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well presented and added exhibit
    Went to see the Gainsborough works and house but had the added bonus of a fabulous de Lazlo exhibit in the new museum building. The house is well presented with interesting exhibits and information but thought the modern artist featured in one of the downstairs rooms was completely unnecessary and added nothing to the experience and in some ways detracted from it as the room could have been used for more interesting exhibits relating to Gainsborough. The gardens behind the house and cafe were well integrated into whole experience. The exhibition in the new gallery change so worth checking before you go. We attended an expert led 2hour of the de Lazlo exhibition which was excellent and well worth the extra charge. All in all an excellent place to visit if you enjoy art.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 April 2024
  • Lois
    Kent, United Kingdom76 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Gainsborough’s House Sudbury. Great House , Art & Garden.
    Really enjoyable place to visit. New extension to the building gives more flexibility for the temporary exhibitions and a very dramatic backdrop for Gainsborough’s work. The house is very interesting in contrast to the new building the paintings have a more relaxed atmosphere in the historic settings of the rooms. There is a permanent exhibition about the local silk industry with paintings which is in the new building and the viewing vista over the house and Sudbury is great. Camera Obscura sadly not in operation on our visit. Garden is very pleasant. Very interesting place to visit and good value for art and history lovers as temporary exhibitions are included in admission price. Check website for admission prices as you get in free with Art Fund and Historic Houses Memberships. Other offers are available for discounted admission.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 27 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles283 reviews
Excellent
137
Very good
106
Average
32
Poor
5
Terrible
3

Rebecca A
Norwich, UK4 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
It’s a beautiful building with some lovely artworks but feels a little old fashioned, despite the new contemporary wing to the building. I would think the entry fee of £15 per person makes it inaccessible to many people and it is over priced.
We were going to have lunch in the gardens but service was so slow we gave up and went somewhere else. The staff in the cafe didn’t acknowledge customers and did their best not to make eye contact or engage with people.
Written 20 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julie B
West Malling, UK48 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
Having visited Gainsborough’s House before the very extensive refurbishment and extension we were pleased to pay a return visit now the exhibition is so much bigger. A wonderful experience with knowledgeable people on hand on each floor to fill in extra information. One small point is although there are lifts there were very few chairs available and which meant I had to cut my visit a little short as my back would not hold out long enough to see everything. Even with a break in the very pleasant coffee shop there was too much time spent standing for me personally to gain the best out of my visit.
Written 15 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ann W
25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
The newly refurbished and reopened house/museum and galleries are an absolute delight. The house is full of period atmosphere (the 18th century background music adds to this). The two art galleries are full of gorgeous paintings. One is dedicated to Gainsbourgh's work; the other hosts temporary visiting items. When I visited it was displaying works by 19th and 20th century Flemish artists. The exhibits are extremely well-explained, by audio guide, written captions or a picture sheet. This last method is particularly good as it negates the need for viewers to huddle around the artworks and block them for others. The staff were all very approachable and knowledgeable and the buildings' designs and materials are most attractive. The gift shop has beautiful items. And, as a final treat, the cafe provided an imaginative menu served by very attentive staff.
Written 28 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Teresa M
3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Friends
August 2023
We have visited before and really loved the personal and protected ambiance of the feeling of being in Gainsborough’s actual home with his paintings and sketches etc.
We visited recently following the new renovations and were very disappointed that it has lost all of the true feeling of why we loved it so much.

We didn't like handling the information cards as I’m sure so have many others - why weren’t there just the usual information alongside each painting?
There may have been hand sanitizer but we didn’t see any.

The new gallery was very impressive with magnificent works of art but very dark, making reading the cards, at times impossible.

The gift shop is lovely and the new cafe looked lovely too.
Whilst we realise that change must happen it’s not always for the best.
Read less
Written 16 August 2023
Written 16 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CambridgeKev
Cambridge, UK189 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
This was our first visit back to the museum since the substantial redevelopment.
What a beautiful display opportunity and what an exceptional range of exhibits
What a disappointment that they are not presented in an intelligible format.
The paintings are displayed in multiple rooms that have a key to the exhibits based on a description using compass points eg the north wall left to right or south wall left to right etc.
The problem is that the laminated sheets provided in each area to describe the exhibits bear little resemblance to the displays on the wall.
I have A1 eyesight and the tiny pictures used to present the paintings are difficult to see in the subdued lighting and a number of the paintings do not exist or have been moved since these sheets were produced.
An annoying sentence at the base of each sheet states something to the effect that booklets describing the exhibits will be produced when the museum opens.
It is open and these are not available.
This is an excellent facility with an incredible collection of historic paintings. If you want to wander around and stare in amazement at the beautiful art, the museum is not to be missed.
However, if you want to read and learn about each exhibit don’t expect to enjoy the challenge of interpreting the confusing and out of date information sheets available in each room to guide you.
Written 10 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tony
Chelmsford, UK45 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021
I took an old friend to see Gainsborough’s House are we were passing through Sudbury. We found the staff to be welcoming and friendly and were able to answer all questions we posed them. It was a delight to see Gainsborough’s artworks up close and walk through the house he inhabited. All together a worthwhile visit.
Written 28 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lois
Kent, UK76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Really enjoyable place to visit.
New extension to the building gives more flexibility for the temporary exhibitions and a very dramatic backdrop for Gainsborough’s work.
The house is very interesting in contrast to the new building the paintings have a more relaxed atmosphere in the historic settings of the rooms.
There is a permanent exhibition about the local silk industry with paintings which is in the new building and the viewing vista over the house and Sudbury is great.
Camera Obscura sadly not in operation on our visit.
Garden is very pleasant.
Very interesting place to visit and good value for art and history lovers as temporary exhibitions are included in admission price.
Check website for admission prices as you get in free with Art Fund and Historic Houses Memberships.
Other offers are available for discounted admission.
Written 27 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RamblerSuffolk_UK
Bury St. Edmunds, UK98 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Anyone with an interest in either art or history should find time to visit Gainsborough's House Museum in Sudbury. It is small but full of interest.
The museum is constructed in two parts. The front part, facing directly on to Gainsborough Road, is based on the artist's original house. It contains some artworks, not all by Gainsborough, and two or three furnished rooms which illustrate how Gainsborough may have lived in the late 17thC.
The modern rear part consists of a gallery for temporary exhibitions, a superb display of, perhaps a dozen, of Gainsborough's really fine portraits, a painting room, a printing room and even a camera obscura. There is also a coffee shop in an interesting garden, complete with crinkle crankle wall.
Visitors should not be put off by the juxtaposition of an ancient house with a modern suite of rooms. The marriage works. The architect deserves a prize.
The museum's only fault was the coffee served in the coffee shop. I couldn't finish it.
Written 25 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MP M
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
The museum hides its riches well within discreet town houses. The staff and volunteers clearly enjoy their work of making visitors welcome . Plenty to admire and enjoy in this well appointed museum. You come out with a greater appreciation of Gainsborough and somewhat emptier pockets because both the shop and cafe are full of temptations.
Written 20 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jonathan S
23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Exquisite exhibition of Gainsboroughs, showing off all his skills with the relationship between flesh and fabric, esp lace. And of course those skies of his - raw sienna pinks and golden ochre (the latter also used as a glaze/background with blue silk). And those lovely sketchy, blue-green trees. Beautiful Reynolds upstairs in the charming family house. Friendly staff.
Written 26 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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GAINSBOROUGH'S HOUSE (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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