SWARTHMOOR Hall is a 16th Century house regarded as the birthplace of Quakerism.

In 1652, Judge Thomas Fell and his wife Margaret provided protection and hospitality for early Quakers, notably George Fox, one of the founders of Quakerism. The hall became headquarters for the movement.

Located on Swarthmoor Hall Lane, off Urswick Road, south of Ulverston, these days the historic hall has gardens, a shop and, from Thursday, February 7, its popular Barn Cafe hosts an art exhibition for the first time.

Running until March 10, the exhibition features impressive work by a trio of local artists: Clare Dent, Sophie McKenna and Tam Taylor, on show in the intimate setting of the Barn Cafe, which is open Thursdays until Sunday (10.30am-4pm) until February 17, then daily from February 18 (10am-5pm) when tours of Swarthmoor Hall resume.

Clare is a painter and printmaker. Her current work is primarily inspired by the Cumbrian landscape and she uses a variety of printmaking techniques including monotype, intaglio and collagraph. Sophie 's practice explores painting as a site of fantasy. Through the language of abstraction, she allows her work to develop organically out of experimentation, as well as drawing inspiration from the outside world. And Tam works largely from instinct, creating layered, textural abstracts. Her mixed-media work is inspired by observation of accidental collections of forms.

For further information telephone 01229-583204.