The Wheelhouse Art Gallery provides a dedicated space, which hosts exhibitions by students and visiting artists and is open to the public.
Prior to opening as an art gallery, the 18th century building has had a long history as part of Oakham School and before that, within the town.
The stone building that stands in Kilburn Courtyard has been used alternately as a rugby changing room, an electronics classroom, and as the quarters for the School CCF. Yet in the more distant past of Oakham town’s history, it was the prison punishment room for the inmates and the poor in the adjacent workhouses. The building housed the eponymous ‘wheel’ on which inmates laboured as punishment.
The transformation of the space by the School maintenance team in 2015 has been spectacular, involving the matching of stone from the same quarry as that used in the 18th century, removing the cumbersome 19th century adaptations and effectively rebuilding the back wall. A fine stone floor and full height windows have transformed this into a beautiful exhibition space.