Opening Hours

Coronavirus Temporary Closure: Please note that Kettle’s Yard House and Gallery will be closed from 17 March 2020. You can keep up to date with the latest information here.

Café, galleries and shop: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm

House: Tuesday – Sunday 12  – 5pm

Free, timed entry tickets to the House are available at the information desk on arrival or online here.

Last entry to the House is at 4.30pm

Access Information & Contact Us

Find access information here. 

+44 (0)1223 748 100
mail@kettlesyard.cam.ac.uk

 

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Visitor Assistant Andrew Smith takes a closer look at some of the furniture in the Kettle’s Yard House.

Maybe you’ve sat at the library table in the upper extension to read one of our art books, and then found yourself thinking about the history of the table itself. You probably were sitting side-saddle because it’s just about impossible to sit with your legs under the table. But you would have admired its substantial three-plank top and refectory style frame.

When Jim Ede first saw it, it was a sad and disregarded side table in the kitchen of Clare College. It had white painted wooden planks crudely nailed to both sides and it was due to be thrown out. Jim was told that if he could remove it, he was welcome to take it.

Jim had the white planks removed, and then, to hide the nail holes, the two outer planks were taken off, reversed and refitted. Finally, with just a thorough cleaning and a little wax polish, it was ready to serve in the library.

Closer inspection reveals it to be a typical late 17th century refectory table and it would originally have had matching benches on either side. When first made, it would have had ‘bun’ feet but at some stage these have been cut off, reducing the height by three or four inches. Furniture like this stood on stone floors that were frequently wet, so tended to rot from the bottom up.

Photo: Stephen White