Discover Turner's Yorkshire

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  • Kirkstall Abbey

    Turner visited Kirkstall Abbey on his first tour to Yorkshire in 1797. He was already highly thought of for his architectural subjects, but on this tour he gradually became more interested in the landscape settings of his subjects. Turner had been brought to Yorkshire by Edward Lascelles of Harewood House, to make a series of watercolours of the house and grounds at Harewood.  Lascelles' patronage encouraged Turner in his early engagement with the landscape, and he commissioned a watercolour of Kirkstall direct from Turner's sketchbooks.

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  • Knaresborough Castle

    Knaresborough was an important site to Turner and he visited twice, in 1797 and again in 1816.  In 1797, he found plenty of material, including a fine view of Knaresborough Castle, a ruined medieval fortress overlooking the River Nidd.  By the time of his second visit in 1816, Turner was established as the leading landscape painter of his age and he was looking for further landscape subjects and he made numerous sketches of the town.

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  • Leyburn Market Place

    Turner passed through the market town of Leyburn around the beginning of September 1816 during his extensive tour of Yorkshire to collect material for Whitaker's history of York series. He did not actually sketch in Leyburn, but may have stayed in the town when travelling from Middleham to Constable Burton, both of which provided the subjects of sketches.

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  • Malham Cove

    Turner visited Malham Cove twice: in 1808, when making a visit to the Craven Dales area where he sketched around Ingleton and Malham, and again in 1816 during his extensive tour of Yorkshire.  On both occasions he appears to have put up at nearby Malham.

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  • Malham Tarn

    In 1816 Turner had been commissioned to make 120 watercolours of the principal subjects in Yorkshire.  He began his tour of the higher dales in late July and arrived at the inn in Malham on the evening of 24 July, where he stayed with his friends, the Fawkes family. He didn't reach Malham Tarn until the following day, having said his farewells to the Fawkes and now riding alone over the moors towards Littondale and Wharfedale. In heavy rain, which Turner found more appealing than repellent, he sketched Malham Tarn, the highest glacial lake in England.

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  • Malton

    Sometime between about 1816 and 1818, Turner made a short tour to Scarborough from Farnley Hall near Otley, the home of his friend Walter Fawkes. On the way back he passed through Malton, a quaint market town, and it looks very much as if he must have put up at The Talbot Hotel, since he took the trouble to sketch it with the town behind. The Talbot opened in 1740 as a coaching inn to serve travellers between York and the coast, and continues as a hotel to this day.

     
     
  • Marrick Priory

    Turner visited Marrick Priory in 1816 when collecting sketches for illustrating 'A General History of the County of York' by Thomas Dunham Whitaker. He toured the higher dales of Yorkshire during late July and early August and visited Marrick Priory when making his way from Wensleydale to Richmond on 29 July.

    Marrick Priory is on the north bank of the River Swale not far east of Grinton. It was founded in 1150 to house a community of Benedictine nuns but was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540.

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  • Masham Market Place

    Turner stopped in Masham during his 1816 tour when making illustrations for 'A General History of the County of York' by Thomas Dunham Whitaker.

    Masham is an attractive market town, with a spacious market square and a large church with a tall spire that can be seen from miles around. Turner visited the town whilst working his way up central Wensleydale from Ripon towards Middleham sometime towards the end of August.

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  • Meersbrook Park, Sheffield

    Turner probably visited Sheffield on a tour of the midlands in the mid 1790s, for about that time he painted a watercolour of the city from the south.  At the time Turner was still a teenager, and building his career by making illustrations for London printmakers and by colouring, copying and finding whatever work he could.

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  • 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 impressed Turner more than any other site in Yorkshire, if the number of his sketches is an indication.  He made more than a dozen in a small notebook that he used to make quick sketches as he explored his sites and four more considered sketches in a larger sketchbook.

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