Penlee House is a museum and art gallery located in the town of Penzance in Cornwall, and is home to a great many paintings by members of the Newlyn School, including many by such luminaries as Stanhope Forbes, Norman Garstin,Walter Langley and Lamorna Birch. Penlee house is currently operated by Penzance Town Council in association with Penwith District Council. Its most famous painting is "The Rain it Raineth" by Norman Garstin who lived for many years in Wellington Terrace, on the edge of the park.
Penlee house was originally built in 1865 a the home of the wealthy Branwell family. The house was purchased by the Penzance Borough council in 1946 along with the surrounding Penlee Park as a memorial to the dead of World War 2 and was formally opened as the Penzance District Museum in 1949. in 1974 the ownership of this museum passed to Penwith District Council, from 1985 Penzance Town Council has owned and operated the site. The collections housed within the museum were originally taken from what remained of the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society collection (which was founded in 1839) which was originally housed within the dome of the Market House in Penzance. During the 1990's Penzance Town Council conducted a major refurbishment of the building providing up to date facilities for housing its important and historic art collection.
The large granite cross that is situated outside the museum dates from the 11th Century and has been moved on at least three occasions, its original location being the Green Market in Penzance. While this cross was situated in the previously stated location it formed the accepted measurement point for the then borough of Penzance , all settlements within ½ mile of the cross being classified as being within the control of the said borough and subject to associated local government taxation .