Astley Cheetham Art Gallery





Astley Cheetham Art Gallery in Stalybridge was built as a gift to the town by John Frederick Cheetham and his wife Beatrice Astley in 1901. The gallery originally opened as a lecture theatre and then the space was turned into a gallery to house the Astley Cheetham Art Collection, bequeathed in 1932. This collection has grown with gifts and donations throughout the twentieth century and is one of the most interesting small regional collections.

The gallery is family friendly and we welcome visits from children. We always have a craft activity on offer, there are children’s books about artists to read and an eye spy trail of things to spot in the paintings on display.

Some comments from visitors to the gallery include:

“Great little gallery. A real hidden gem in Stalybridge. We will be back!”

“Fantastic display enjoyed by all the family. This was well worth the visit and we will definitely come again.”

“A lovely exhibition. Something to do for old and young alike.”

Entry to the gallery is FREE.


Opening Hours

Astley Cheetham Art Gallery is open on the first and third Saturday of each month 10am-3pm and also every Saturday in August 10am-3pm.

In 2018 the gallery will be open on the following dates:

  • Saturday 6 January
  • Saturday 20 January
  • Saturday 3 February
  • Saturday 17 February
  • Saturday 3 March
  • Saturday 17 March
  • Saturday 7 April
  • Saturday 21 April
  • Saturday 5 May
  • Saturday 19 May
  • Saturday 2 June
  • Saturday 16 June
  • Saturday 7 July
  • Saturday 21 July
  • Saturday 4 August
  • Saturday 11 August
  • Saturday 18 August
  • Saturday 25 August
  • Saturday 1 September
  • Saturday 15 September
  • Saturday 6 October
  • Saturday 20 October
  • Saturday 3 November
  • Saturday 17 November
  • Saturday 1 December
  • Saturday 15 December

Planning a Visit

Astley Cheetham Art Gallery is situated in Stalybridge town centre, above Stalybridge Library, just outside of Manchester. It is accessible by car, bus and train. There are parking spaces just outside of the building. Please note there is currently no disabled access to the gallery and is only accessible by stairs.
The access statement for Astley Cheetham Art Gallery (1.51MB)  describes the access, facilities and services that we offer.

View highlights from The Astley Cheetham Art Collection.

Please note that not all paintings are on display. Please check before you visit.


Colour: The Art of Powerful Pigments
3rd March – 3rd November 2018

An exhibition at Astley Cheetham Art Gallery in Stalybridge looks at how artists have used colour throughout history. What do certain colours mean to us? Why were particular colours used?  
Until the nineteenth century paints didn’t come in tubes or any other ready-made format. Instead artists ground, mixed and experimented with natural dyes and technically created pigments to create their colours.
Becoming an artist in the fifteenth century meant spending years as an apprentice grinding rocks to powder, burning and scratching wood, or even crushing insects to create pigments for paints.
Only upon mastering the chemistry and technical knowhow would they be allowed to put paint on canvas. Large areas such as backgrounds and clothing were prepared while the master artist completed the painting and focused on the finer details.
Before about 1500 coloured pigments were mixed with egg yolk to produce a paint known as tempera. This paint was long-lasting but dried very quickly, meaning artists had to work fast. It needed a hard surface such as wooden board and artists couldn’t blend or alter the paint with a brush once it had been applied. 
During the Renaissance the use of linseed oil as a carrier for pigment became popular. Oil paint dries slowly meaning artists could work on a painting over longer periods. They could make alterations easily, blend paint to produce subtle variations of tone and build up layers of colour.
The first pre-mixed paints came in pig’s bladders and glass syringes. This allowed the Romantic painters of the early-nineteenth century to explore their emotional response to the natural world by painting outdoors. But it wasn’t until the invention of the portable paint tube in 1841 that artists could truly embrace painting from nature.


Madonna and Child   Mountain Journey   Clown




Your Paintings website - see the nations paintings online

The Public Catalogue Foundation and the BBC have joined forces and are now offering everyone a chance to see all paintings held in public collections in the UK.

As part of this project you can now see many paintings from the Astley Cheetham Art Collection on the Art UK website Link to External Website.

NICE Paintings (The National Inventory of Continental European Paintings)

You can now see some of the artworks held by the Astley Cheetham Art Collection online. 

This is the first phase of the National Inventory Research Project's aim of creating a searchable illustrated inventory of all 22,000 pre-1900 Continental European oil paintings in the UK's public collections.

The database currently contains nearly 8,000 records and over 2,500 images from 200 museums across the UK.

If you would like to be kept informed of future events and activities, please contact us via the details below requesting to be added to our emailing list.

Twitter birds and follow us on Twitter Link to External Website

Contact Information
Contact by Post

Astley Cheetham Art Gallery
Trinity Street
SK15 2BN
Contact by Telephone
0161 343 2878


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