Print Making At The Old School Muker

Over the course of 2019 The Old School Muker will focus on the rich and fascinating subject of print making, showcasing the work of some of the best print makers from The North of England and the UK.

Work will be on permanent display throughout the year and each month, from April to October, we will feature a specific artist allowing a wider range of work to be exhibited and a deeper appreciation and understanding of the particular techniques they use. 

Though styles, subject matter and techniques may differ, all our print makers share one thing in common; a love for the rugged landscape, flora and fauna that’s synonymous with our surroundings, and that makes Muker, and Upper Swaledale, such a magical place. We hope you’ll like their work as much as we do. 

Print Makers currently featured at the Old School Muker include: Piers Browne, Hester Cox, Carol Nunan, Rebecca Vincent, Morna Rhys, Janis Goodman, Anne Mason, Denise Burdon, Laura Boswell, Shona Brannigan and Sarah De Feu.

For more information please contact us at

Old School Ceramics

Brought together under one roof, a wonderful collection of ceramics and glassware from some of the North of England’s and UK’s best makers, including: Thomas Petit, Mary Johnson, George Ormorod, Charlotte Morrison, Gwen Bainbridge, Mary Chapplehow, Andrea Cundell, Jenny Hall and Shelly Lee. Discover it for yourself at The Old School Muker.

Gallery Makeover

The paints just about dry on the gallery walls following two weeks of alterations and improvements at the Old School. 

A new plinth, dry-lined feature wall, hanging system and colour scheme allow us to showcase the work of our artists and makers in a more flexible and effective way. 

There’s just a bit of finishing off to do, but the main work is done and we’re back open. 

Work in progress pictures below … 

Christmas At The Old School Muker

It’s Christmas Advert time again!  We don’t have the budget of Waitrose or John Lewis, but what we lack in budget we make up for with: unique, hand-crafted work from our superb makers and artists; scenery to die for (including real snow!); the best pub in the Dale; and not forgetting Swaledale Woollens and  the Tea Shop … So ditch Debenhams, abandon Amazon, and instead head to Muker’s premier art gallery and craftshop in stunning Upper Swaledale.

To avoid last minute disappointment, mardy partners, banishment from the bedroom, best friend fall outs, a bad brexit and an end to World peace, please be sure to check out website for Winter opening times, and remember if you can’t get to us, we can post out to you!

The Old School Welcomes the Abstract Landscapes of Gill Waugh

Fresh for her successful exhibition at Simonstone Hall in Wensleydale, The Old School Muker is very pleased to welcome the wonderful, abstract landscapes of Gill Waugh.

Ribblehead, Misty Light, Gill Waugh | The Old School Muker

Ribblehead, Misty Light detail Gill Waugh | The Old School Muker

Gill’s work take us from the Yorkshire Dales to the Outer Hebrides, invoking the moods, atmosphere and beauty, they both share, lovingly worked in acrylic and ink …

Uist Beach, Gill Waugh | The Old School Muker

Uist Beach detail, Gill Waugh | The Old School Muker

… and the vibrant, abstract, style adds another stunning dimension to the range of work we showcase at The Old School.

Richard & Polly 

Gill’s Artist Statement 

The dreamlike mists on my home loch and the light and dark of our amazing weather are a constant source of wonder and inspiration; in the Yorkshire Dales, magical low-lying evening light draws me back time and time again, as do empty wet stretches of silvery sand in the Outer Hebrides…
I hope my work conveys the emotion I feel whilst looking at the subject – and that I’ve tried to record that delight when I’m back in my studio.
I create abstract landscapes, taking from the natural textures and colours which move me – whether it’s lichen on an ancient tree or feathery weed swirling in the clear water of our loch. I take endless closeup photos of such treasures and refer to them, initially, for inspiration in my paintings. I work by building up many layers of acrylic paint and letting brilliant inks flow into the textured surfaces – the chemistry between water-based and waterproof media is fascinating; although they repel each other at first, they come together as they dry, forming complex and organic patterns.

A Spitfire Lands at the Old School

I finally succumbed to temptation and landed this wonderful aluminium model Spitfire in the Old School Gallery. DSC06148Every week or so we have RAF Tucano fast jet training aircraft flying low over Muker, circling Kisdon twice, before heading off into the distance … DSC06147… and every few weeks I find myself talking to a pilot who’ve flown (to date) Nimrods, Tornados, Canberras, Buccaneers, Comets and Concorde, so it seems fitting to have this superb model at the Old School.

With a wingspan of ~26 inches it’s a great centrepiece in the gallery and would make the ultimate Christmas present for anyone who loves and appreciates this iconic aircraft.

Muker Show 2018

Yesterday was the 113th Grand Annual Show, held on the most perfect September day. The show retains its roots and traditions, and the competitions, whether baking the tastiest chocolate cake or scone, drawing or painting the perfect landscape, herding truculent sheep, or attempting to run the fell race, are all of a high standard and accompanied by good humour. Perhaps best of all, the show is a place where old friends meet and catch up, whether at the show or after in the Farmers Arms.

The show is yet another great reason to visit our village.  More information on the show can be found here ( but for now a few snaps to remind us of the day.

The Muker Silver Band, Muker Show 2018

Organisers and Judges, Muker Show 2018

The Muker Silver Band, Muker Show 2018

Last Minute Prepartions, Muker Show 2018

Judging Begins, Muker Show 2018

Space to Relax, Muker Show 2018

The Muker Silver Band, Muker Show 2018

Clive & Amanda Owen et al, Muker Show 2018

Discussing the finer points, Muker Show 2018

All set within glorious Upper-Swaledale, Muker Show 2018

Community Singing outside The Farmers, Muker Show 2018









The Old School Welcomes the ceramics of Nigel Edmondson

The Old School is proud to welcome the ceramics of Cumbrian potter Nigel Edmondson.


With a mission to discover ceramic work for our garden, Polly came across the work of Nigel Edmondson at this years Pots in the Park. Perfect!




Nigel’s planters and sculptures are inspired by the Northern fells and dales and their earthy tones and textures will sit well, and become the centrepiece, of any garden.

Alongside the work of Adrian Wood and Michael Kusz, Nigel’s work makes the Old School Garden an even more special place to sit, relax, drink coffee, eat cake and admire the views and the art they inspire 🙂

More about Nigel below.

Richard & Polly 

Artist Statement

I am constantly searching for new ways to respond to the landscape and every walk on the fells contributes to this.

The surfaces or my ceramics are often richly textured and much of the work incorporates landscape-based abstraction that reflects and responds in particular to the fells that lie on my doorstep and on which I enjoy walking. 

Craft-crank clay is used, fired to 1250°C in oxidation, only limited use is made of glazes with colour coming from metal oxides and high firing slips. On occasion multiple firings are employed to allow for further refinement of the ‘painted’ surface. 


The Old School Welcomes Carol Nunan

The Old School is proud to welcome the wonderful printmaking of Carol Nunan.  Carol’s work is rooted in the landscape. Her inspiration comes from cultivated and wild flowers, iconic castles, landmarks and archeological history.


Carol works primarily with monotypes and collagraphs. Printed by hand each print is unique. Her fascination lies in experimenting with printmaking media and alternative colour palettes to reflect the changing landscape. Her use of colour and quest to constantly reinvent her practice owes much to the diverse cultural influences of her African and Irish upbringing.

With an aim to bring more printmaking into the Old School Gallery Carol’s work was an immediate and obvious candidate, reflective as it is of the landscape and wildlife that surrounds our gallery and much of the North of England. Seeing it for real at this year’s Printfest, and meeting Carol and Chris, simply confirmed our suspicions, and it’s wonderful to now have the work on display.




The Old School Welcomes, The work of Beth Age 7

The Old School is proud to welcome the work of Beth, age 7. Beth’s work, full of vibrancy, fun and colour, perfectly complements and reflects the smiles of the people who are drawn to it.


It’s not often such a precocious talent arrives fully formed onto the art market. We’d therefore highly recommend an early viewing and purchase to catch the work of an artist who’s reputation, and value, is bound to soar over the coming months and years.

Richard & Polly


Richard & Cherry Kearton, Wildlife Photography Pioneers.

On the outside wall of the Old School Muker are two plaques commemorating school alumni, Richard and Cherry Kearton. Born in Thwaite, one mile up the Dale, the two brothers attended the school in the late 19th Century before going on to pioneer wildlife photography and cinematography, influencing amongst others Sir David Attenborough.


Given the stunning wildlife photography and film making we enjoy today;  impossible without modern, hi-tech equipment, it’s worth reflecting on the limitations of the camera gear available to the Keartons, and how incredibly intrepid and inventive they were to capture their shots, including the use of the famous hollow ox as a portable hide.


We’re currently in conversation with the Museum of Science and Media, who hold in their collection some of the Kearton’s equipment and books, and the V&A whose collection (hopefully) includes some of their original prints, with the aim of holding an exhibition of the Kearton’s work in 2019. Last week I headed down to Bradford to visit to Museum of Science and Media, who were kind enough to provide access to their large and small object stores, both treasure troves of equipment where two of Cherry Kearton’s film cameras are stored.



We’re now waiting for the V&A to get back in touch before we’re able to take the exhibition to the next stage, so watch this space!!

In the meantime there’s a couple more of the Kearton’s images to enjoy below, and more can be found on the Guardian’s website here:








The Hartlake Gallery

Our new upstairs exhibition space, the Hartlake Gallery, has been open for three weeks and is currently hosting the Yorkshire Coast & Sea Exhibition. Many thanks to those who’ve visited and for all the wonderful feedback.

The Hartlake Gallery at The Old School Muker

For those wondering about the name, Hartlakes is the area just below Swinner Gill between Muker and Keld. Hart = deer and lake = play, so Hartlakes is “where the deer play”.

Hartlakes, with Muker in the far distance.

If you walk out of Muker up Vicarage Lane and towards Keld along Lovers Lane, you my well spot deers on the path or in the fields below.

Vicarage Lane in 2018, during the Beast from the East

The Vicarage was built around 100 years ago so the name Vicarage Lane is relatively new, and there’s a thought that it was called Hartlake Lane, as Hartlakes is to where the path leads.

A newly built Vicarage looking down on Muker.

And for those who don’t like the sound of bumps in the night Hartlakes is: “reputedly one of the most haunted places in the country. Its other name is Boggle Hall, “boggle” referring to the old name for a spirit that moves from house to house”

More research required!


Just Visiting Just Left, Sandra Parker

Sandra Parker’s wonderful Just Visiting (above) just left the Old School.

We’re currently showcasing a selection of Sandra’s work at the Old School including three superb originals, one of which is the superb Swaledale study, Yan, below …

Yan | Sandra Parker

… and we plan to get our hands on some more of Sandra’s work very soon. Watch this space!