J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Roxburgh Castle from Springwood Park 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 55 Verso:
Roxburgh Castle from Springwood Park 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 57a
Pencil on off-white wove writing paper, 113 x 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
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.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Roxburgh Castle from Springwood Park 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-roxburgh-castle-from-springwood-park-r1134391, accessed 25 May 2022.