The gallery is open! You are welcome to come and see our exhibitions. Numbers will be limited. No need for an appointment.
Please continue to wear a mask when walking about inside the building. Our young staff are not all double vaccinated yet and need to be protected. Hand-washing facilities are available in our yard. We will continue to do everything to keep you safe.
GALLERY open Wednesday to Saturday 10am – 4.30pm. Closed Sunday – Tuesday.
The Café is open for inside and outdoor table service, reservations are welcome, as well as for Takeaway ready meals.
SUNDAY OPENINGS Please note we will be closed this Sunday 5th. Reserve a table for Sunday lunch from Sunday 12th!
CAFÉ & TAKEAWAY open Wednesday to Sunday 10am – 4.30pm. Closed Monday & Tuesday.
Phone 01308 459511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire.
Call 01308 459511 or email to place an order/make a reservation.
For all the latest information on exhibitions and invitations to our events, please join our mailing list.
To enquire about a wedding, celebration or larger booking in the future please email email@example.com.
We are dedicated to Keeping you Safe. See details.
Sladers Yard was opened as an art gallery in 2006 by the designer craftsman Petter Southall and his wife, curator and gallery director, Anna Powell.
Sladers Yard is a private art gallery dedicated to exhibiting and selling contemporary British art, handmade furniture designed by Petter Southall and designer craft by leading artists, designers and makers. Sladers Yard presents a high quality changing programme of selling exhibitions throughout the year. We sell work directly from the artist so customers know when you buy from us that the artwork is genuine and that the money you spend directly supports and provides a living for some of the most talented artists and makers working today. Between exhibitions we represent artists, often holding their artworks in stock and available to buy from this website, and where appropriate taking commissions for bespoke pieces. Please see individual artist pages for more information or contact the gallery on firstname.lastname@example.org
Sladers Yard has become an influential and successful gallery in the South West with a strong reputation for representing and carrying forward the careers of well-established talent in fine art and crafts. The list of artists we represent is shaped with an eye to understatement, mystery and the wonders of the world around us.
Before Sladers Yard, Petter ran the i tre Gallery on Pimlico Road, London SW1, where he showed his furniture with selected contemporary artists. However, the family home and Petter’s studio are in West Dorset less than five miles from West Bay harbour.
Sladers Yard was built in 1805 as a warehouse for Georgian merchants who were importing flax from Russia for the rope and twine trade in Bridport. Bridport’s textile industry is one of the oldest for any town in Britain. Significant orders for rope and cloth that date back to 1211, including one in 1213 from King John to supply the navy, suggest there was already a well-established industry by that date. Later Bridport was given the royal charter.
The harbour was rebuilt in the 1750s encouraging an expansion of trade. By the time Sladers Yard was built, the western part of West Bay was busy building ships for the Napoleonic Wars and for the North Atlantic fishing fleet. The ‘Samson’ pillars which support the weight of the upper floors at Sladers Yard were probably recycled ship’s masts.
Like many of the warehouses in West Bay, Sladers Yard had a central loading area and a manual pulley system. The arches at front and back would have allowed carts to be pulled right through the building for loading. The wooden pulley wheel still remains in the attic at Sladers Yard. Petter has restored it with hemp ropes to lift the furniture up to the first and second floors. The arched entry to George Street was blocked off to build amenities and now houses one of the two kitchens for the café.
The building was later part of Gundry’s, the largest textile business in Bridport, and was used for storage. Nets were made on the first floor and writing on one of the walls still records one of the orders, At the end of the 1990s, the building was used as the headquarters for the television crew filming Harbour Lights, the BBC drama starring Nick Berry.
In converting the building into a contemporary art gallery and café, every care has been taken to preserve the character of the working building. Petter’s sympathetic addition of wooden panelling on the ground floor adds warmth and texture. Removing modern partitions on the first floor opened out a remarkable beautiful space in this atmospheric building allowing the long sight-line from stone-walled end to end, under the timber ceiling.