Joseph Mallord William Turner

Roxburgh Castle from Springwood Park


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 57 a

Catalogue entry

From Springwood Park (to the south-west of Kelso) this view looks west across the Springwood estate to Roxburgh Castle in the distance. There is a road or path in the foreground at the left of the sketch, and the view beyond is seen through a screen of trees. In the near distance is the grand neoclassical gate to the estate and Springwood House (demolished) is in the middle distance to the right. In the distance at the left of the sketch is the castle mound standing between the rivers Tweed and Teviot with the ruins of Roxburgh Castle on it. The River Teviot is shown at the right of the sketch.
The bridge shown at the centre of the picture is probably John Rennie’s Kelso Bridge. It would not be visible in this view as it lies directly to the east of where Turner took the sketch. It is therefore a separate sketch made from the same position and laid over the first.
Turner visited Roxburgh Castle on 10 August 1831 in the company of Robert Cadell, and, according to the latter’s diary, ‘traversed’ the ruins and ‘took a sketch from [sic] it also from a knoll nearer Kelso’.1
There is a clearer sketch of Roxburgh Castle on folio 22 verso (D25967; CCLXVII 22a) as well as several other possible views (see 22 verso for references).

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Robert Cadell, ‘Abbotsford Diary’, Wednesday 10 August 1831, National Library of Scotland, MS Acc.5188, Box 1, folio 111; transcribed in Gerald E. Finley, ‘J.M.W. Turner and Sir Walter Scott: Iconography of a Tour’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol.31, 1972, p.384 note 146.

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