Middleham and Middleham Castle

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Opening Times:

Castle opening times:
1 April-30 September, daily 10am-6pm;
1 October-4 November, Sat-Wed 10am-4pm;
5 Nov-28 March 2013, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm;
Closed 24-26 December and 1 January

The Turner Trails bench can be accessed all year round


Castle admission costs:
Adult £4.40;
Children £2.60;
Concessions £4.00;
English Heritage members free

Access to the Turner Trails bench is free

Venue contact details:

T: 01969 623899
W: www.english-heritage.org.uk/

Middleham and Middleham Castle

Turner visited the town of Middleham on his Yorkshire grand tour of 1816 when collecting sketches for a series of watercolours to illustrate 'A General History of the County of York' by Thomas Dunham Whitaker.  Middleham Castle's massive Keep is one of the largest in England and the castle was the childhood home of Richard III.

Middleham impressed Turner more than any other site in Yorkshire, if the number of his sketches is any indication.  He made more than a dozen in a small notebook ('Yorkshire 1' sketchbook, Tate Gallery, Finberg number: CXLIV 47a - 55 NB: labelled as ?Knaresborough), which he used to make quick sketches as he explored his sites and four more considered sketches in a larger sketchbook (See 'Yorkshire 3' sketchbook, Tate Gallery Finberg number: CXLVI 23a - 24, for example).

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Turner's Viewpoint

Turner's main interest was in searching for a viewpoint from near the river, looking up at Middleham Castle and the town.  He also found some exceptionally fine views over the castle and town from the higher ground behind the castle, taking in the broad sweep of Wensleydale behind.  Turner devoted considerable time to this, exploring the area thoroughly from south west to south east.  The fields behind the castle to the south east provided the subjects for some particularly fine sketches (Details of a Ruined Castle ?Knaresborough, 'Yorkshire 1' sketchbook, Tate Gallery, Finberg number: CXLIV 53a).

Turner also took the time to make an excellent sketch of Middleham's Market Square and Cross ('Yorkshire 1' sketchbook, Tate Gallery, Finberg number: CXLIV 48).

Discover The Landscape

The Turner Trails bench is situated about 3/4 mile south west of Middleham next to the roadside, by a stone wall and footpath sign.  The bench overlooks Pinker's Pond and you can enjoy the views across Coverdale.

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.

You can also visit Middleham Castle, the focus of Turner's sketches.

The Venue


Middleham Castle, Castle Hill, Middleham, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 4QR‎. Co-ordinates, 54.282967,-1.804957

Map reference: SE117870 (Turner Trails bench)
SE129873 (Turner's viewpoint)

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Directions to Middleham and Middleham Castle:

Castle location: 2 miles S of Leyburn on A6108

Turner Trails bench: Follow Coverham Lane from Middleham for 3/4 mile (SW of Middleham)