Welcome to The Old Courthouse, Shap.


An evening of spoken word and poetry with poet John Hegley

This well loved building at the heart of the community is beginning a new era in its long and varied history.

As a community building it offers a warm welcome to everyone.

Please visit us to see what we have on offer!

We are home to a Cumbria County Council Library Link, Shap Pre-School Playgroup and provide a Visitor Information Point for Eden District Tourism.  We are working hard to bring other services to the community.  We have a variety of rooms available for hire.

We host art exhibitions in The Exhibit 'A' Gallery and have space available for other displays and events. The building has WiFi access, computers and also printing/photocopying facilities.  A growing number of groups meet here regularly – check out the information on this website, we hope you will find it interesting and helpful.

The building is owned and managed by a community charity: Shap Community CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) Charity No. 1160966

We ask you to maintain social distance and to consider wearing a Face Covering when in the building.

The Old Courthouse

and Exhibit 'A' Gallery

are OPEN!

Opening Hours

Monday - 10am to 1pm

Tuesday - 2pm - 5pm

Thursday - 2pm to 5pm

Friday - 2pm to 5pm

Saturday - 10am - 12pm

Sunday - 2pm - 5pm

The Exhibit 'A' Gallery is 

open with cards and

gifts on sale.

The Library Link is available during opening times

for borrowing and

returning books.

Please note that

 books may be returned but not taken out on Market Days, fourth Saturday of the month

Starting 25th June at the Exhibit 'A' Gallery

High Sheriff of Cumbria visits The Old Courthouse

The High Sheriff of Cumbria Alan McViety joined Andy Beeforth MBE with volunteers at The Old Courthouse  

Alan McViety, High Sheriff of Cumbria was accompanied by Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation when they visited The Old Courthouse, Shap and met with volunteers.

CCF is the High Sheriff's chosen charity for his term of office 2022/23 with his theme being Youth Opportunities.

The Trustees of Shap Community CIO at The Old Courthouse are very grateful for financial support received since 2015 from grants administered by CCF contributing to the improvement of facilities at The Old Courthouse, making it a warm and welcoming space for the community and visitors.

Platinum Jubilee Activities at Shap 

Platinum Jubilee Activities at Shap began with an open morning on Wednesday at the Memorial Hall to celebrate all the work achieved by volunteers in Shap and to make others aware of the varied volunteering opportunities that are available.  The event was organised by Cumbria CVS (Council for Voluntary Service) in collaboration with Shap Community CIO (The Old Courthouse) and Shap Parish Council. Shap based organisations represented;  Community Action Group,  Memorial Hall,  Community Enterprise,  Local History Society,  Youth Club,  Scouts/Cubs/Beavers, St Michaels Church, Bell Ringers, Swimming Pool,  Gardening volunteers and promoters for Highlights Rural Touring. The following organisations also took part;  106 Bus Partnership, Barnado’s, Carer Support Eden, Cumbria Fire and Rescue, Cumbria Youth Alliance, Healthwatch Cumbria.   At the same time Shap Bowling Club held a ‘have a go’open  event at the Bower and Action Ants provided fun-filled activities for children on the Memorial Park.

Judith Smale, Volunteering Manager with Cumbria CVS said “ We were delighted to help organise and attend the Shap Volunteer and Community Open Day on 1 June as part of Volunteers Week 2022. The event really did celebrate the amazing Community Spirit and groups in Shap and the fantastic work of volunteers. If anyone is interested in volunteering in Shap or Eden but was unable to attend the event then please do contact Cumbria CVS on 01768 800350 or email info@cumbriacvs.org.uk “

Volunteer opportunties at The Old Courthouse

Shap Collection for Ukrainian refugees

Val Brough, Marion Drinkwater and Jackie Wright holding some of the knitted blankets that are being sent to Poland.  (left to right) 

The Shap community has responded generously to the Ukrainian refugee crisis. Members of the village have organised a collection of donated items that will be transported to the Lublin area of Poland which will then be distributed by a church group to the refugees in their local area.  


Willow and Oktavian Wrobel helping to collect donated items at Shap School  (left to right) 

Lublin is in Eastern Poland, 99 kilometres from the Ukraine border at Starovoitove and just 88 kilometres from the border with Belarus.  The area has seen a huge influx of refugees.  Several of the Shap C of E School families have relatives living in Poland.  Shap School and The Crown Inn have been collection points for items including nappies, powdered baby milk, wet wipes, toiletries, adult medicine, sleeping bags and blankets.  Knitted blankets have been given by residents in the village some of whom attend the Knit and Natter group at The Old Courthouse.

Starting Soon...

Events and Exhibitions

@ The Old Courthouse

Rachel Phillimore

Rachel is a textile artist who embraces the history and traditional techniques of rag rug making – but interprets it afresh. Her designs are usually a response to the seasons and happenings in the wild world. Thoughts and collections from river walks and gathering of flowers from the garden are often the starting point for her work.

Jennie Ashmore

Leafworks are unique collages where I collect and press leaves and flowers from the woods and gardens of SW Scotland and beyond. 

I use the dried material and sometimes with watercolour to celebrate the beauty and vibrancy of the natural world.

I gather material all year round and I have to collect when the flowers and leaves are at their best. 

I have my favourites and I know where to find them, in hedgerows , woodland, the coast and gardens.

I only collect very small batches of wild flowers and never anything rare or unusual

I also grow a lot of plants in my garden specifically for my work. 

Sue Dunne

My ceramics are hand-built and press-moulded in grogged white earthenware, which is dried, biscuit-fired and then coloured with velvet underglazes before being dipped in a clear glaze.

I have loved making pots ever since studying art at Colchester School of Art, followed by a degree course at Bath Academy of Art, a long time ago! I am so lucky to be able to make my living from directly using our magically intriguing and beautiful flowers and plants.

Suzanne Stuart Davies

Painter Suzanne Stuart Davies lives in Shap and draws inspiration for her current series of oils and watercolours from the surrounding fells and dales. Previously an art teacher and gallery owner, she returned to Cumbria five years ago and now walks and makes studies in the nearby countryside. Ideas are gathered together in her journey books. Her current series ‘Northern Hills’ features paintings of the areas around Wet Sleddale and the Orton Fells.


What's Going On

@ The Old Courthouse

Opening hours

Mon 10am - 1pm, Tues 2 - 5pm, Thu 2 - 5pm,  Fri 2 - 5pm,  Sat 10am - 12pm, Sun 2pm - 5pm.


The Trustees are encouraging 'Hands, Face, Space, Test & Trace'.  Please help us to keep yourself and others safe 


Library Link - Continue to use your local library.  Self-service return/select facility available during opening hours (return only available on monthly market day). 


Knit and Natter is back! - Thursdays 2.15 -  4.30pm in the Library

Bring your own knitting or craft. Do your own thing or learn from each other. All welcome. 


Zero Carbon Shap , Environmental Reading Group meets monthly on a Tuesday evening   Contact Dave on 07484 632210 or Peter on 07837 816795 for details.

Shap Gardening Group meets on the last Thursday of each month  

A friendly welcoming group who meet to talk and share ideas about all aspects of gardening.

For more information about the group contact vturnbull@talk21.com

Writing Group meets monthly

If you would like to join us email s.allen@wordsworth.org.uk or janet@theoldcourthouse.org for information. 




 Volunteering @ The Old Courthouse

Roles for Volunteers with Shap Community CIO at The Old Courthouse, Shap


With your help we could achieve so much more



Reception Desk

Do you have a few hours to spare each week or month? 

We are looking for volunteers to provide a warm welcome for users of the Library Link and visitors to the Exhibit ‘A’ Gallery (art and craft exhibitions). 


Social Activities

Do you enjoy conversation?  Are you a good listener?  Are you good at making cups of tea? 

We would like to develop our social activities to contribute to the health and wellbeing of members of the community. Let us know if this is something you are interested in.


Visitor Information Coordinator

Do you have an interest in our local area, its history and landscape?

We would like someone to help us develop our resources for residents and visitors and our links to tourism.  (Computer skills including web design essential)


Promotions Assistant

Do you have good marketing skills?

We are looking for someone to help us promote the facilities and activities at the Old Courthouse.


Project Development Officer

Are you rewarded by making things happen?  

We are looking for someone who is willing to investigate ideas for future improvements to our facilities and work with us to help source the funding needed to realise our plans.   


Latest news from the Library.

The Library Edit

The latest newsletter from Cumbria County Council,