Chantry Chapel, Wakefield

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Find a trail - visit the official visitor site for Yorkshire

Opening Times:

Turner's viewpoint all year round.

Chantry Chapel - limited opening hours, please telephone for more information.



Venue contact details:

T: 01924 372748

Chantry Chapel, Wakefield

Turner visited Wakefield on his first tour of Yorkshire in 1797.  In the agricultural medieval period Wakefield was one of the wealthiest towns in the region and had some of the best architecture of that period.  The wealth continued into the industrial age, but the beauty of the more functional buildings of that period is perhaps less obvious.  It is clear however, that the Chantry Chapel in Turner's watercolour was rather dilapidated and shortly afterwards it was completely rebuilt.

This important site on the River Calder and its view of the Chapel was a major focal point and the reason why so many artists visited Wakefield.  The surrounding area is now part of a multi-million pound regeneration project which includes the construction of a brand new art gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield.  Due to open 21 May 2011, it will be the largest purpose-built art gallery outside of London.  The gallery displays will include Wakefield and Yorkshire in Pictures, a space dedicated to topographical studies of Yorkshire, including images of Chantry Chapel. 

The British Museum has kindly loaned Turner's painting of Chantry Chapel to The Hepworth Wakefield and it will be one of the opening displays within Gallery 6 (Yorkshire in Pictures), where the view of the Chantry Chapel can also be enjoyed through the window overlooking the river.

Turner's Viewpoint

Turner found a view on the south bank of the River Calder from where he could take in the medieval bridge and Chantry Chapel, with the town and spire of All Saints (now Wakefield Cathedral) beyond.  He made a detailed study of the view as well as a detailed study of the front of the chapel.  Turner developed the sketch into one of the finest watercolours to result from his grand tour, Wakefield Bridge (The British Museum, Wilton number: 241).

Turner's view along the river is perfectly preserved where you can look across to the Chantry Chapel of St Mary the Virgin, a rare survival from the middle ages, standing on a medieval bridge built in the 1340s.

Discover The Landscape

The Turner Trails bench can be found outside The Hepworth Wakefield. The Turner Trails panel is located on a viewing platform overlooking the River Calder close to the footbridge which takes you to The Hepworth Wakefield. It offers a great view of the river and The Hepworth and a side view of the Chantry Chapel.

Turner's Religious Houses

Listen to Episode 4 of our Turner podcast series when Turner expert, Professor David Hill, is joined by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, as they look at Turner's sketches and paintings of Yorkshire's historic religious houses.

The Venue


Chantry Bridge, Wakefield, WF1 5DJ

Map reference: SE340201

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Directions to Chantry Chapel, Wakefield:

A61 to Wakefield, follow signs to Wakefield Kirkgate Rail. Where the A61 crosses the river, the old bridge runs parallel and the Chapel can be viewed. There is limited parking in this area.