Boroughbridge & Ellenthorpe Hall

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Boroughbridge & Ellenthorpe Hall

It was probably sometime towards the last week of August 1816 when Turner passed through Boroughbridge, whilst working his way towards Ripon from York, as part of his grand tour.  Turner seems to have used the market town as a stopover and he probably stayed the night in one of the local inns.  With the coming of the stagecoach, Boroughbridge, with its many inns, became one of the busiest staging posts on the Great North Road.

This might not have been his only visit - he travelled up and down the Great North Road on a number of occasions, but this was the only occasion on which he made any sketches.  He was intending to visit nearby Newby Hall and presumably put up at an inn whilst he presented his credentials and waited for a summons.

Dogs accepted

Turner's Viewpoint

Turner passed the time by making a few sketches of the eponymous bridge, the first from upstream (Borough Bridge, 'Yorkshire 1' sketchbook, Tate Gallery, Finberg number: CXLIV 30a), then three from downstream, finishing at the junction of the canal and the river (see for example, Borough Bridge, 'Yorkshire 1' sketchbook, Tate Gallery, Finberg number: CXLIV 31a). 

He continued his walk down the north bank of the River Ure to Ellenthorpe Hall, where he took two more sketches looking downstream and up and over the meadows towards Aldborough (see, for example, ?Ellingthorpe Hall - Ellenthorpe (or Alnthorpe), 'Yorkshire 1' sketchbook, Tate Gallery, Finberg number: CXLIV 30).  The interest in Ellenthorpe Hall at that time, at least on the evidence of the sketches, is that there was a significant part of the medieval hall still standing near the river.  This has now disappeared and its proximity to the riverbank in Turner's sketch probably explains why (and also why the present Ellenthorpe Hall has been built at a good distant from the edge).

Discover The Landscape

The Turner Trails bench and panel are situated in Hall Square, just off Fishergate and High Street, next to the Tourist Information Centre.

There are public footpaths downstream towards Ellenthorpe Hall, which make a pleasant walk along the River Ure; the sketches contain significant detail relating to the canal which is of interest in itself.

Where Turner Stayed

Download our themed leaflet and see how the innkeepers and hoteliers played their part in ensuring Turner made the most of his Yorkshire sketching tours.

The Venue


Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, YO51 9HJ

Map reference: SE397668 (Turner Trails bench) | SE410674 (view from Ellenthorpe Hall)

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Directions to Boroughbridge & Ellenthorpe Hall:

1 mile east of the A1 at J48.
Access to Ellenthorpe Hall by foot only. Follow the River Ure from Boroughbridge for approximately one mile E on the N side of the river