Caley Park and Caley Crags, Otley Chevin

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Opening Times:

All year round

Prices:

Free

Venue contact details:

T: 01943 465023
W: www.chevinforest.co.uk

Caley Park and Caley Crags, Otley Chevin

During Turner's annual visits to Farnley Hall, he was welcomed into the house almost as a member of the family and there was a room permanently equipped for his use.  Turner was famously reclusive and taciturn in London society but at Farnley he was happy and relaxed. His activities there were as much social as artistic.  He particularly enjoyed to fish in the Rivers Wharfe and Washburn and also joined the shooting parties on the moors of Caley Park.

The Fawkes owned the Danefield allotment and adjoining Caley Park, across the valley from Farnley, which at that time were almost certainly bare, unforested moorland.  Walter Fawkes planted this with woodland during the late 1780s and this area is now more commonly known as the Otley Chevin; it was gifted by Fawkes' descendents in 1946 to Otley Urban District Council "for perpetual use by the public for exercise and recreation" and it is enjoyed by many visitors today.

Turner's painting from around 1818, Caley Hall, Yorkshire with Stag Hunters Returning Home (The National Gallery of Scotland, Wilton number: 612) shows the end of a hunt, with a recently shot stag being carried through the grounds of Caley Hall (now demolished). 

As well as a game reserve, it appears that Caley Deer Park also had exotic animals such as zebras, goats, wild pigs and axis deer.  The foundations of a building have been found which is where the Fawkes' deer-keeper lived (known locally as 'Keeper's Cottage' and giving rise to the name Keepers Wood today).

Tea roomPicnic siteDogs accepted

Turner's Viewpoint

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Turner completed a number of watercolours in this area, including View across the Wharfe from Caley Park, circa 1818 (Private Collection, Wilton number: 618) and Woodcock Shooting on Otley Chevin, 1813 (The Wallace Collection, Wilton number: 534), near Caley Crags.

The presence of woodcock is used by Chevin Forest today to assess the balance between people and wildlife, as it is susceptible to disturbance (as a ground-nesting bird); they are only seen in parts of the forest that are less busy.  Turner's painting suggests that woodcock were still present in this particular part of the Chevin, but not so today. His painting is, in effect, used to monitor wildlife, adding a different angle and relevance to his artwork.

Discover The Landscape

The Turner Trails bench and panel are located near Caley Crags with clear views across to Farnley Hall (now a private residence). They can be accessed on foot through Stag Wood and Keepers Wood.

Otley Chevin Audio Tour

Follow in the footsteps of one of England's greatest artists to explore the routes that JMW Turner took around Otley Chevin with our Turner Trails audio tours, which will work with any mp3 player or iPod, as well as mobile phones and PDAs that can play mp3 audio.

The Venue

Address:

Upper Shawfield Car Park, East Chevin Road, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3BU - Co-ordinates, 53 53 46.53N 1 39 06.97W

Map reference: SE230445

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Directions to Caley Park and Caley Crags, Otley Chevin:

9 miles NW of Leeds on the A660 to Otley; follow signs from Otley town to East Chevin Road

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