Tennants Auctioneers is a long established auction house that, up until the mid-1990s, operated from a succession of converted buildings. In 1994 they had built this building in Leyburn, Wensleydale, Yorkshire, and have created a space that pulls in visitors even on non-auction days.
Throughout the year they have a series of special auctions of which the most bizarre is, possibly, the one which deals with taxidermy and natural history. You can see both antique and modern examples of the taxidermist art and other natural history products.
There is an exhibition area, which is used to promote future sales or to support the company’s lecture programs. Lots of information is provided and the material presented is of the highest quality. Previous topics include the history of male fashion going back to the 17th century and mid-20th century furniture design. It is easy to forget you are in a commercial building, it has the feel of a museum.
The exhibits vary from month to month so repeat visits are definitely worthwhile. There is an informal cafe (which serves excellent cheese scones, among other things) and a more formal restaurant if you wish to eat something more substantial.
Know Before You Go
The Auction House is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on the weekends unless there is an auction scheduled. Entry to the exhibition space and to the viewing area ( on viewing days) is free of charge and parking is also free. The building also houses a venue which is used for lecture and cultural performances.