Welcome to

The Old Courthouse


Welcome to
The Old Courthouse

Local Art & Culture
Science & Nature

Welcome to The Old Courthouse, a vibrant hub of connection and activity within our local neighbourhood.

This is a place where people from all walks of life come together to engage, learn, and grow. Our community centre serves as a catalyst for fostering a sense of belonging, promoting social interaction, and providing valuable resources for individuals of all ages.

At its core, our community centre is dedicated to building a strong and inclusive community. We strive to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, and valued. Whether you’re a long-time resident or new to the area, our doors are open to you.

Opening Hours

Sun 2pm – 5pm

 Mon 10am – 1pm

 Tues 2pm – 5pm 


Thurs 2pm – 5pm

 Fri 2pm – 5pm

 Sat 10am – 12pm


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

Our Common Heritage exhibition
by Westmorland Dales

Saturday May 27th – Sunday 18th June

Our Common Heritage’ is a new exhibition presented by the Westmorland Dales that is taking place at The Old Courthouse, Shap.  It has been inspired by oral histories collected from some of the commoners and members of the farming community involved with Westmorland Commons.  The gallery display will include information and photographs documenting the history of the common and the breeds of livestock running on the commons plus a selection of farming bygones.  It will also illustrate how the rights to graze livestock on the commons has for years formed an integral part in the running of the small family farms adjacent to the fell and how this is now changing. Visitors will have the opportunity to listen to recordings that were made.

The exhibition opens on  Saturday 27th May,  Shap Market Day , and  in addition to the many stalls and music there will be rugmaking and wool spinning demonstrations plus a free ‘Make a Sheep’ craft activity for children.  Representatives of the commoners will also be on hand to talk to visitors with examples of different breeds of hill sheep and a Fell pony on display. The ‘Our Common Heritage’ exhibition runs until 18th June. It has been made possible with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  Admission is free.

Regular Events

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 – 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.

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

The Exhibit 'A' Gallery

Local art, crafts and photography exhibitions

 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.