A NEW art gallery has opened in Ludlow on the site of the former South Shropshire District Council.

It is located at Old Stone House in Corve Street, an imposing property thought to have been designed by Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum architect, Charles Cockerell.

The ground floor gallery within the elegant Grade II home, will open with an exhibition, curated by owners James and Gabrielle Service, of exceptional works by select artists: Lesley Forrest, Penny Hardy, Emsie Sharp and Richard Sorrel.

Paintings, sculptures, hand-blown glass and wearable art will be shown to best advantage with all the natural light and space afforded by the large sash windows and high ceilings.

Integrated within the gallery, Gabrielle has set up a millinery studio, the realisation of a childhood ambition.

Having spent the last five years learning the artisan craft and techniques of hat-making, a collection of chic chapeaux is on display; perfect accessories for a special occasion, or style aficionados.

“Our ambition has been to create a pioneering gallery space promoting artists whose specific talents inspire us, said” James and Gabrielle Service, owners of Stone House Gallery.

“We are extremely excited to launch this brand-new venture, after being interested by art, in its many forms, throughout our previous careers. We both have a background in the auction world and will hopefully be offering some fresh talent for Ludlow to admire and enjoy.

“We aim to tempt and provoke visitors with inspirational ideas for adding individuality for the home or special gifts. Private commissions from our artists can be undertaken and we are happy to guide clients throughout this process. James offers bespoke advice on buying and selling at auction houses, acting as a mentor for clients, accompanying them to salesrooms and acting on their behalf.”

Ludlow has a growing reputation for art.