Richmond Castle

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Find a trail - visit the official visitor site for Yorkshire

Opening Times:

Castle opening:
1 Apr-30 Sep, daily 10am-6pm;
1 Oct-4 Nov, Thurs-Mon 10am-4pm;
5 Nov-28 2013 Mar, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm
24-26 Dec and 1 Jan closed

The Turner Trails bench can be accessed all year round on Castle Walk


Adult: £4.70
Children: £2.80
Concessions: £4.20

Access to the Turner Trails bench is free

Venue contact details:

T: 01748 822493

Richmond Castle

Turner was only 22 on his first visit to Richmond in 1797 and at the outset of his career. He toured Yorkshire looking for subjects with which to enhance his growing reputation as a painter of romantic abbeys and castles. 

Richmond Castle is the invariable subject for Turner's major compositions of the town. It is breathtakingly sited on a rocky promontory above the River Swale and is among the oldest Norman stone fortresses in Britain, begun around 1071.

Gift shopPicnic sitePublic toiletsWheelchair accessDogs acceptedVisitor Attraction Quality Assurance SchemeEnglish Heritage

Turner's Viewpoint

In 1797 Turner found a fine viewpoint of the castle seen over the bridge from the riverside, which after sketching, he developed into a full scale watercolour a couple of years after the tour (Richmond, Yorkshire, Sunrise: Colour Study circa 1799, Tate Gallery, Finberg number: XXXVI V).  This was unfinished but Turner carried it far enough to develop a wonderful effect of dawn light as the sun rises on the castle.  Even as a young man Turner seems to have adopted the practice of rising to see the dawn, which he continued throughout his life. The viewpoint is today a little overgrown by trees, and is more clearly visible in the winter.

In 1816 Turner made a fairly comprehensive survey of Richmond Castle from different quarters of the compass. He also returned to the viewpoint of his 1797 watercolour and made a new watercolour study in a much more energetic style (Richmond, Yorkshire: Colour Study circa 1816-18, Tate Gallery, Finberg number: CXCVII H), although again, no watercolour was made from this.

Discover The Landscape

The Turner Trails panel is located in Trinity Church Square in the middle of Richmond.

There are two Turner Trails bench - one is located on Castle Walk, the steep pedestrian walkway around the castle, while the other is located within Richmond Castle.

Richmond Audio Tour

Follow in the footsteps of one of England's greatest artists to explore the routes that JMW Turner took around Richmond with our Turner Trails audio tours, which will work with any mp3 player or iPod, as well as mobile phones and PDAs that can play mp3 audio.

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.


Saturday 1 October 2011
Richmond, Turner and the Picturesque

The Venue


Castle Walk, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 4QW

Map reference: NZ171007

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Directions to Richmond Castle:

4 miles SW of the A1 at Scotch Corner. Follow the A6108 to Richmond. The Castle is just off Market Place.

Castle Walk can only be accessed on foot