Contemporary Art, Furniture & Craft Gallery · Licensed Café

OPENING TIMES

Due to Covid 19 restrictions the gallery is closed to visitors but open online and here to answer enquires. The Café is open for hot and cold Takeaway and ready meals. View menus.

Café Takeaway open 10am – 3.30pm. Wednesday – Saturday.

Please wear a mask. Hand-washing facilities are available in our yard. We regret that our toilet is closed to visitors during lockdown. There are public toilets in West Bay Road car park just across the road.

Call 01308 459511 or email to place an order/make a reservation.

ABOUT

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 gallery@sladersyard.co.uk

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.

THE BUILDING

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.

DIRECTIONS

Sladers Yard Contemporary Art, Furniture & Craft Gallery, Licensed Café

West Bay Road, West Bay, Bridport DT6 4EL

 

By Car: From A35 at Bridport take West Bay Road at the Crown Inn roundabout.  You will need to park in one of the numerous pay and display carparks all around West Bay.  The gates to Sladers Yard are on West Bay Road straight over the mini roundabout, on the right just after George Street.  If you come to the fishing tackle shop, Samways the fishmonger or the harbour you have passed us.  Tel: 01308 459511

Public Transport

By Train: Trains run regularly from London Waterloo to Dorchester South on the Weymouth  line.  Then you can either take a taxi (approx. 30 mins) to Sladers Yard or come by bus as follows:

By Bus: Just outside Dorchester South station is a bus stop where you can catch X51 bus to Frosts in Bridport. Walk 1 minute to Nationwide Building Society where you catch 501 Weymouth bus to West Bay.  At Forty Foot Way in West Bay walk back towards St John’s Church and follow the pavement round to the left past the fishing tackle shop. Our gates are on your left just before George Street. In all this should take about 1 hour 15minutes.

Payment plans

Sladers Yard accepts bank transfers, cards, cheques and cash. For larger amounts cheques need to clear before we can release the artworks.

We are always happy to discuss payment plans including monthly payments for artworks.  The gallery will hold the artwork for the customer until payment is complete. This arrangement has to be agreed with the artist on a case by case basis.

Wedding lists

Sladers Yard Gallery holds wedding or gift lists and can gather donations towards works of art.

Gift vouchers for Gallery or Café

Give a beautifully printed Sladers Yard gift voucher and you give your loved ones the pleasure of choosing exactly what they want.

Personally produced gift vouchers for either the gallery or for the Café for the amount you want to give. Can be sent with an appropriate card and a message.

Gallery gift vouchers can be set against any artwork /accessory available from Sladers Yard. Valid for two years from date of purchase.

Café Vouchers can be set against eat-in or takeaway food and drinks. Valid for one year from date of purchase. You can also send or collect gift boxes of cakes / mince pies.

Bridport and West Bay

Here are a couple of short films made by Watershed PR for Spirit of Bridport and funded by Dorset Chalk and Cheese to give you a taste of West Dorset.