This work depicts Bowes Tower, part of Bowes Castle and the stilted arch identifiable in Turner’s watercolour can still be seen when visiting the castle today.

During the 1830s Turner produced designs to illustrate volumes of poetry by some of his most celebrated contemporaries. This watercolour was commissioned as a frontispiece to volume nine of Sir Walter Scott’s poetry, which contains the poem Rokeby. Rokeby was composed by Scott following a stay at Rokeby Park in 1809. The poem is set in the landscape between Rokeby and Barnard Castle. Bowes Museum owns a first edition of the poem dedicated to John Morritt, owner of Rokeby Park.


Robert Cadell; Christie’s, 1939; Agnews, London; Sir Hugh Walpole; E.P. Beresford-Jones. This work has been vetted by the Art Loss Register and LSAD database in 2007.

The Bowes Museum

Newgate, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8NP
01833 690606

Opening times

Mon – Sun, 10am – 5pm Closed 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan

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