Tolbooth Arts Centre

tolbooth arts centre


Tolbooth Arts Centre.

Tolbooth arts centre Set in one of Kirkcudbright's historic buildings, the centre tells the story of the Kirkcudbright artists colony (1880-present) through a 13 minute audio visual show and the permanent display of paintings.

The top floor of the Tolbooth arts centre formerly the debtor's prison is now used as a gallery for ever changing contemporary art and craft exhibitions. There are also permanent displays of paintings by Kirkcudbright artists.

Friendly café serving fresh coffee, teas and locally produced cakes and biscuits. Gift shop, retailing artists' prints, paintings, crafts, art books and reproductions.  The museum curator is available to give an introductory talk to school parties on the building and it's history.

Open all year
May, June & September: Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm, Sunday 2pm-5pm
July & August: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 2pm-5pm
October: Monday-Saturday 11am-4pm, Sunday 2pm-5pm
November to April: Monday-Saturday 11am-4pm

Admission is free

Facility information

  • Free entry
  • Disabled access - everywhere except second floor studio gallery

The Tolbooth Art Centre was opened in 1993 by H.M. The Queen. It was originally built between 1625-1629 as Kirkcudbright's Tolbooth and was used as a Town Council meeting place and office, Burgh and Sheriff Court, and the Criminal and Debtor's prison. One of its most famous prisoners was Captain John Paul, later known as John Paul Jones and hero of the American Navy.

This award winning art centre describes the story of the Kirkcudbright 'Art Colony' using an audio-visual show "The Artists' Town" and a permanent display of some of the best Kirkcudbright paintings in our collection. The top floor is maintained as a gallery for a wide range of contemporary art and craft exhibitions.

Works are for sale in the exhibitions and in the shop on the ground floor or you're welcome to just sit and enjoy the Tolbooth's friendly coffee shop.