Joseph Mallord William Turner

Spofforth Castle from the West


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

Graphite on paper
Support: 97 x 154 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLIV 1 a

Catalogue entry

This is a close and detailed study of the west range of Spofforth Castle. The subject is sketched from a greater distance on folio 2 of the sketchbook (D10870), opposite. Turner had drawn the same subject in 1797 in the North of England sketchbook (Tate D00984; Turner Bequest XXXIV 75).
Spofforth lies between Harrogate and Wetherby, and offered the first subject on Turner’s tour of central Yorkshire in 1816 as he set off eastwards from Farnley Hall, the home of his Yorkshire patron Walter Fawkes. Spofforth was from Norman times the home of the Percy family, who later established themselves at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. The earliest part of the present fortified manor house is a twelfth-century undercroft. The main part of the building visible here dates from the fifteenth century.

David Hill
January 2009

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