Discover Turner's Yorkshire

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  • Fountains Abbey

    Turner visited Fountains Abbey on his first visit to Yorkshire in 1797.  As Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal is Yorkshire's finest Cistercian Abbey ruin, spanning over 800 years of history, it offered a wealth of potential material for Turner.  He made three detailed pencil sketches (two with watercolour) in two large sketchbooks that he carried with him and then during the following winter developed a watercolour to exhibit at the Royal Academy in the spring.  Turner revisited Fountains Abbey in 1816 and made a number of good sketches on that occasion and a watercolour of the base of Abbot Huby's tower.

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  • Gordale Scar

    Turner visited Gordale Scar twice during his 1808 and 1816 visits to the Malham area. It rained on both occasions. The summer in 1816 was one of the wettest on meteorological record due to climatic disturbance cause by a volcanic eruption the previous year in the Philippines. Turner, however, was never happier than when contending with the elements, and sketched enthusiastically throughout.

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  • Hackfall

    It was probably sometime towards the end of August 1816 when Turner visited Hackfall, whilst exploring Lower Wensleydale between Ripon and Middleham.  In Turner's day Hackfall was famous as one of the finest and largest wild gardens in Britain. 

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  • Hardraw Force

    Turner visited Hardraw Force on 27 July, as part of his 1816 grand tour, and spent the night in the village at the Green Dragon Inn. 

    Hardraw Force is at the head of a short gorge behind the Green Dragon Inn and, at 100 feet, has the reputation of being one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in England.  It was already a well-known attraction in Turner's time, with fellow contemporaries such as Wordsworth also visiting.

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  • Harewood House

    Harewood House is the very foundation of Turner's association with Yorkshire; it is because of the First Earl of Harewood and his son, Viscount Lascelles, that Turner came to Yorkshire in the first place - to make a series of watercolours of Harewood House and Castle, and two oils of Plompton Rocks.  He was then able to use Harewood as a springboard for a more extensive tour of Yorkshire and thus began an association of nearly thirty years.

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  • Helmsley Castle

    Helmsley was visited by Turner in 1801, as part of his second tour to the north, taking in some of the sites of north-east Yorkshire.

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  • High Mill, Addingham

    Turner passed through Addingham on several occasions whilst travelling towards Bolton Abbey or Skipton from the home of his Yorkshire friend and patron Walter Fawkes of Farnley Hall.  Turner's only visit to sketch at Addingham, however, was in 1808, when he made a short tour of the Rivers Wharfe and Washburn from Farnley Hall.  On this tour he sketched on exceptionally large sheets of paper, in fact some of the largest sheets that he ever attempted to use outdoors.  We can only assume that conditions were settled and still for this to have been possible and that Turner was clearly determined to enjoy the conditions at his leisure.

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  • Howden Minster

    Visiting Howden during his first tour of Yorkshire in 1797, Turner already had a reputation for architectural subjects, especially old abbeys and churches. The church of St Peter & St Paul at Howden was one of the largest and finest in East Yorkshire and reflected the very great prosperity of these agricultural lands at the end of the middle ages.

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  • Jervaulx Abbey

    Turner visited Jervaulx Abbey as part of his 1816 grand tour of Yorkshire for the history of York series. Founded in 1156, Jervaulx Abbey was once a great Cistercian monastery before being ravaged and pillaged during the Dissolution of Monasteries, and dissolved in 1587.

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  • Kilnsey Crag

    Turner visited Kilnsey Crag on his tour of Yorkshire in 1816; he spent the night of 25 July at nearby Kettlewell and devoted the next morning to exploring Kilnsey Crag. The distinctive Kilnsey Crag is a towering inland limestone cliff, around 50 metres high, which has an impressive overhang of about 12 metres created by the Wharfedale glacier during the ice age.

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