Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Procession to Edinburgh Castle with the Regalia Seen from the Half Moon Battery


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 54 a

Catalogue entry

This careful and detailed drawing of the view from the Half Moon Battery of Edinburgh Castle, made with the sketchbook inverted and continued on folio 55 (D17601), pays equal attention to the procession of the Regalia of Scotland (see folio 36 verso; D17565) as it does to the topography and architecture of the city. From the elevated position we look down to the Castle Esplanade with troops lining the Castle Gate; stands with allocated seating for the ‘clergy’ and ‘navy’ flank the parade ground, indicating that this drawing depicts the assembled crowds shortly before the procession arrived at the castle with the Regalia, its bearers and George IV. The moment of the King’s arrival is depicted on folio 36 verso. The buildings east of the castle around the Royal Mile are drawn in detail, especially St Giles’s Cathedral, with the old spire of the Tron Kirk partially visible to its left. To the left of the High Street is the ‘Bank’ of Scotland head office (before its present dome was installed in the 1860s). Behind Castle Hill to the left on folio 55 are St Andrews’s Church spire, the Melville Monument, and the General Register House all in Edinburgh’s New Town in the north.

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

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