Bolton Castle is at the village of Castle Bolton on the north flank of Wensleydale about two miles north-east of Aysgarth. The castle was built in the years 1379–99 by Sir Richard Le Scrope, Lord Chancellor of England, and is famous as the site of the imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots in 1569. It has since descended through the Lords Bolton, and is today opened to the public.
Here, Turner shows its western flank, with the tower of Castle Bolton Church immediately left of the castle and the entrance stairway to the right leading to the base of the south-west tower. He sketched a similar view in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11249; Turner Bequest CXLV 124a), which accompanied him on the same tour.