Joseph Mallord William Turner

Craigmillar Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 23

Catalogue entry

Turner had two opportunities to visit Craigmillar Castle in 1831. The first was on the way to a party at the home of John Thomson of Duddingston in September 1831, shortly before returning to London.1 The second was to include the castle in a trip to nearby Blackford Hill and Duddingston Loch on 15 August (see Tate D25654; Turner Bequest CCLXV 7). The latter is more likely as this sketchbook was not used as late as September. There are further sketches of Craigmillar on folios 23–24 and 25 (D25968–D25970, D25972; CCLXVII 23–24, 25) of the sketchbook, and in the Berwick sketchbook: Tate D25719 (Turner Bequest CCLXV 42a).
The present view is from the south-east and shows the towered curtain walls with the tower house rising above in the centre. Just to the right of the tower house are the two gables of the chapel, though the roof has gone, with the dovecot to its right. There is a similar view, though more from the east, on the verso of this page (D25969; CCLXVII 23a).
At the very left edge of the page is a sketch of what looks like part of a building or bridge. This is likely to be part of Teviot Bridge just outside Kelso.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Gerald Finley, Landscapes of Memory: Turner as Illustrator to Scott, London 1980, p.255 note 18.

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