Discover Turner's Yorkshire

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  • Askrigg and the Kings Arms, Askrigg

    Turner stayed in Askrigg on 26 July 1816 when making illustrations for 'A General History of the County of York' by Thomas Dunham Whitaker.  He spent the night at the Kings Arms, in this quiet village characterised by its tall houses and cobbled market place centred around St Oswald's Church.

    Turner had travelled over from Upper Wharfedale during the day, but habitually used every hour of daylight to make sketches.  No sooner had he stabled his horse and taken some refreshment, than he was out in the evening exploring his surroundings.

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  • Aysgarth Falls

    Turner visited Aysgarth on 28 July 1816 when making illustrations for  'A General History of the County of York' by Thomas Dunham Whitaker. He probably stayed that night in Aysgarth Village.

    Turner's principal subject at Aysgarth was the famous falls. The River Ure drops over three major falls in less than one mile. The third fall, Lower Falls, is the most vigorous, where the river drops down a fine staircase of horizontal ledges and can be an awesome sight (and sound) when the river is in spate.

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  • Barden Tower

    In 1808 Turner made a small sketching tour on the Rivers Wharfe and Washburn. He was making his first visit to the home of his great Yorkshire friend and patron Walter Fawkes of Farnley Hall near Otley. Turner, by this time, was well into his thirties and on this tour he began an intimate exploration of the  scenery of Yorkshire that was to last for nearly twenty years.

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  • Beeston Hill, Leeds

    Of all the cities of Britain, Leeds was one of the most important to Turner. He had important friends and patrons in the area and Leeds served as a base for his explorations of Yorkshire and the north. Over thirty years, he passed through the city many times, but sketched little in the immediate area until 1816 when he was commissioned by Whitaker to make a series of 120 watercolours of Yorkshire.  It was probably around the middle of September when he came to Leeds to make his sketches.

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  • Beverley Minster

    Turner passed through Beverley on the return leg of his 1797 grand tour, around the same time as his visit to Howden.

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  • Bolton Abbey

    Turner made a number of visits to the Bolton Abbey Estate and produced a series of watercolours of the ruins of the 12th century Priory and nearby sites, including The Strid, Barden Tower and Addingham Mill.  In fact the area made a lasting impression on Turner.  Ruskin, the influential 19th century English art critic and social thinker, said that no matter what Turner painted in later life, he was always influenced by the memories of "the chanting waves of the Wharfe."

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  • Bolton Castle

    Bolton Castle, a spectacular medieval fortress, was a major subject for Turner on his Yorkshire tour of 1816 when collecting sketches for a series of watercolours to illustrate 'A General History of the County of York' by Whitaker. 

    There are at least twelve sketches in two sketchbooks. Bolton Castle also appears as a distant landmark in a number of other sketches taken from the west around Aysgarth and the east around Middleham. In his more considered sketches, Turner had clearly found views which he intended to develop into finished watercolours and no doubt he would have done so had the project been fully completed - sadly Whitaker died before he could complete the work.

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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.

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  • Caley Park and Caley Crags, Otley Chevin

    During Turner's annual visits to Farnley Hall, he was welcomed into the house almost as a member of the family and there was a room permanently equipped for his use. Turner was famously reclusive and taciturn in London society but at Farnley he was happy and relaxed. His activities there were as much social as artistic. He particularly enjoyed to fish in the Rivers Wharfe and Washburn and also joined the shooting parties on the moors of Caley Park.

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  • Carperby

    Carperby village is less than a mile north of Aysgarth Falls and is a fine example of a typical Dales linear village.

    While no specific sketches of the village were made by Turner, the artist would have passed through here in July 1816 when making his sketches of Wensleydale.

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