We spotted a small sign to this gallery and turned off the main road to investigate. We were very pleased we had, as it’s a great spot for anyone who, like us, enjoys poking around in art studios and small galleries. It consists of two adjoining spaces next to the railway line. One is a potters studio on the ground floor, and above (up some steep wooden stairs) a salesroom for the pottery. I quite liked these, but found the gallery next-door had many things I liked more. Here, again on two floors, was a selection of works by a number of different artists, mainly local but some from elsewhere but influenced by local scenes. I liked a lot of the work on display, and was very tempted by some glass coasters, but in the end we only bought a greetings card for Chris’s Mum. If I was able to visit regularly I suspect I would certainly end up buying something here though!
What to pay: We paid just a couple of pounds for the lovely hand-made card. The coasters were £15 each, and prints started at about £20.
The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM.
Directions: These are a little long and complicated to fit in the standard VT space. If driving, and entering Corfe Castle from the north, look for a sign to the left just after the car park, and then take the first on the right. Coming from the south, drive through the village and look for a right turn just after the bend beyond the square. On foot, there is pedestrian access from the village centre vis the railway station.
If you’re shopping for gifts for family and friends this would be an excellent choice. The shop is bigger than it appears from outside and has a wide range of gift items such as toiletries (soaps, lotions, etc.), toys, tasty-looking jams and chutneys, sweets (fudge and toffee, for instance), note-pads, tea-towels and other household items. An attractive jute shopping bag seemed to be selling particularly well as people are coming to realise the damage that plastic carriers can do.
There is also a good selection of books of local interest, describing the history and natural history of the Isle of Purbeck and of Corfe itself.
What to pay: We bought some prettily packaged hand-made lavender soap. Prices were comparable to those I’ve seen elsewhere for gift items, or maybe a little higher, but proceeds go towards the upkeep of National Trust properties such as Corfe Castle which, together with the attractive presentation of the items, justifies any small mark-up I think.