Conisbrough Castle

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Opening Times:

1 Apr-30 Jun Sat-Wed, 10am-5pm;
1 July-31 Aug daily, 10am-5pm;
1 Sept-4 November Sat-Wed 10am-5pm;
1-31 Oct Sat-Wed, 10am-4pm;
5 Nov-28 Mar 2013 Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm;
24-26 Dec and 1 Jan closed

Prices:

Adults: £4.60
Concessions: £4.10
Child: £2.80 (under 5's free)
Family (2+2): £12.00
English Heritage free

Conisbrough Castle

Turner visited Conisbrough on his first tour of Yorkshire in 1797, when making his way along the Don valley from Rotherham to Doncaster.  At this time the landscape of South Yorkshire was still largely richly agricultural, but around Rotherham and Conisbrough, the first large iron factories were developing.

Conisbrough Castle was a well-known landmark, with its spectacular geometrical keep dating from 1180.   The riverside mill close by was owned by the famous iron master, Samuel Walker of Masbrough, near Rotherham and was in use as part of an iron foundry.  Its waterwheels would have been used to power large hammers to beat the metal into shape.

Gift shopPicnic sitePublic toiletsWheelchair accessDogs acceptedEnglish Heritage

Turner's Viewpoint

Finding a viewpoint near the River Don, Turner made a sketch that combined both the riverside mill and the castle keep (Conisbrough Castle from the North, with Walker's Mill and River Don to Right, 'North of England' sketchbook, Tate Gallery, Findberg number: XXXIV 4).

It is said that many of the guns for HMS Victory were cast in Walker's mills, a fact that Turner might well have known, and in which he would most certainly have been interested.  It was presumably in one of Walker's mills that Turner also took pause to make a dramatic record of the interior, with workers heaving the white hot metal under the hammers, and baking in the radiating light and heat.  A loose page, possibly associated with this tour, features a watercolour  (Cannon Foundry: ?Interior of Walker's Foundry at Rotherham or Conisbrough, Tate Gallery, Finberg number: XXXIII B).  It depicts a large cannon in the foreground, no doubt recently cast and waiting its turn on some gun carriage or perhaps on the decks of a man-of-war destined for the Battle of Trafalgar.

Turner's actual viewpoint of the Castle can be found near Walker's iron foundry on the River Don by following the riverside footpaths along the north bank.

Conisbrough Castle, one of the best surviving examples of medieval military architecture, is also open to visitors.

Discover The Landscape

Castles in Turner's Yorkshire

Download our themed leaflet and let the walls guide you around more than a dozen of Yorkshire's magnificent castles sketched and painted by Turner.

Turner's Industrial Yorkshire

Listen to Episode 2 of our Turner podcast series and discover Turner's fascination with the new industries he found in Yorkshire's expanding urban areas. Turner expert, Professor David Hill, is joined by Ken Hawley MBE of the Hawley Collection Trust, Sheffield.

The Venue

Address:

Conisbrough Castle, Castle Hill, Conisbrough. Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN12 3BU

Map reference: SK517994 (viewpoint) | SK515989 (castle)

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Directions to Conisbrough Castle:

NE of Conisbrough town centre off A630; 4.5 miles SW of Doncaster

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