Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sandsfoot Castle, Weymouth


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Graphite on paper
Support: 170 x 209 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIV 25

Catalogue entry

The small Dorset castle in the Wyke Regis area of Weymouth was built in 1539 as a defence for shipping in Portland Harbour, but fell into decay after the seventeenth century.1 It survives in much the same state as shown in Turner’s view north-east from the rocky shore, with the headlands towards Weymouth Harbour beyond. He sketched it on his way from Weymouth (see folio 24 recto; D08835) to Portland, where he recording a rather more dramatic castle ruin (folios 26 recto, 27 recto; D08837, D08838).
Turner did not develop Sandsfoot as a subject for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast project, but Samuel Prout’s Weymouth Castle, Dorsetshire, published as one of the half-page plates in the series, shows a similar view (see the introduction to the 1811 tour; Tate impressions: T05363, T05364).
‘Sandsfoot Castle, Old Castle Road’, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, accessed 10 October 2008,
Technical notes:
There is a blue stain at the top right corner.
Blank, save for inscription by John Ruskin in red ink ‘24’ bottom left, upside down. There is some brown rubbing or staining, and small tears have been repaired at the top and bottom.

Matthew Imms
February 2011

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