Image Resources: Web Sources - Museums & Galleries
Online sources for topographical images of castles and architectural features: Drawings / maps / engravings / sketches / watercolours etc
A Guide to British Topographical Collections – M W Barley 1974 (by county)
The British Library – online images – (Good for S H Grimm, late C18 and Edward Blore, early & mid C19). Also good for special collections -
The King’s Topographical Collection (King George III - British Library collection on Flickr). Contains drawn and printed maps, views and atlases produced between 1500 and 1824. The entire collection can be accessed here.
Historic England - Educational Images - Photographic library: https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/education/educational-images/
The British Museum: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx
Cambridge University Digital Library (especially for John Speed’s Counties of Britain)
https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/ and https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/PR-ATLAS-00002-00061-00001/1
Cambridge University: The Fitzwilliam Museum & Gallery: https://fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/objects-and-artworks:
(Click: ‘Only with Images’ and ‘Deep x=zoom enable (IIIF)’
The Courtauld Gallery London: http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/
The Royal Collection Trust: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection
The Society of Antiquaries: https://collections.sal.org.uk/home
Tate Britain: http://www.tate.org.uk/search
Tate Britain - Turner’s sketch books on-line: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/search?gid=999999995&type=artwork
George Vertue’s Vetusta Monumenta: https://scalar.missouri.edu/vm/index
The Ashmolean Museum - Oxford: https://collections.ashmolean.org/
The Yale Center for British Art - Collections: https://britishart.yale.edu/collections/search
Harvard Library Digital Collection: For Samuel Hieronymus Grimm paintings
National Galleries of Scotland: For a few Francis Place images
Francis Towne Images - complete collection: http://www.francistowne.ac.uk/
The National Museum of Wales: http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/art/online/
The National Library of Wales: https://www.llgc.org.uk/
National Gallery of Ireland: http://onlinecollection.nationalgallery.ie/search/Place/objects/list
The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art): https://www.metmuseum.org/art/the-collection
Art UK: https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/
Watercolour World: Database of pre-1900 watercolours from private and public collections around the world: https://www.watercolourworld.org
The Government Art Collection: http://www.gac.culture.gov.uk/collection.aspx
The Victoria & Albert Museum (some very good 1850s-70s castle photographs): http://collections.vam.ac.uk/search/
For Samuel and Nathaniel Buck images (1720s - 1750s): http://www.panteek.com/Buck/
Good sized views but contain a Panteek watermark. And:
Then go to http://www.castleduncan.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=802 and scroll down
Local /Regional art galleries, many of whom now have good collections online:
Liverpool: Walker Art Gallery Liverpool:
Leeds: Leeds Art Gallery:
Birmingham: Birmingham Museums Trust:
Manchester: (Whitworth Gallery) http://gallerysearch.ds.man.ac.uk/
Cambridge: The Relhan Collection: https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections/relhan/1
(Cambridge Digital Library - Antiquities in Cambridgeshire drawn by Richard Relhan, 1797-1838 - includes images of Cambridge castle)
Dealers & retailers in antiquarian prints that have on-line shops/galleries:
For prints from early antiquarian books, there may be a version of the book online. See the ‘Gatehouse’ website, http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/home.html under each castle’s bibliography, and go to the link; some websites allow page downloads to save as an image, others (Google) only allow you to print off the page.
As a rule of thumb, the earliest prints/engravings (17th/early-18th century) are the most accurate and draughtsman-like, not necessarily the most aesthetic, although the Samuel and Nathaniel Buck prints were often drawn at the request of the owner, so they would sometimes exaggerate a building or a feature that the owner wanted to highlight.
Important 16th –18th century artists/draughtsmen/antiquarians: See also Topographical Prints and Drawings
John Speed (for maps) (1552-1629) British Isles, 1611, with town & county detail;John Norden (c.1547-1625); Anton van den Wyngaerde; Ralph Agas; William Smith; Braun and Hogenberg; Daniel King (d. c. 1664); Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677);
Francis Place (1647-1728); William Stukeley (1687-1775); George Vertue (1684-1776) (Vetusta Monumenta); Buck, Samuel (1696-1779) and Nathaniel, (fl 1724-1759), Buck's Antiquities or Venerable Remains of above four hundred Castles, Monastries, Palaces, etc. etc., in England and Wales, (1774). [Most drawings date to the 1730s & 40s].
Late-18th and 19th century paintings, prints and drawings.
In the late 18th &19th centuries there was an explosion of good artists painting in the ‘Sublime’ or ‘Picturesque’ fashion and many took liberties with the landscape and buildings’ features to create a ‘Romantic’ or bucolic or arcadian scene. This includes J M W W Turner, a major practitioner of this genre, however delightful his paintings are. So not everything seen can be believed. The better artists, for accuracy, are listed below:
- Thomas Pennant (1726-1798) (A Tour in Wales) 1778 & 1781. Two Vols. Many illustrations by Moses Griffith (see below)
- Samuel Hieronymus Grimm (1733-1794) (most examples can found in the British Library online). They possess 2660 drawings and 660 watercolours; strong on Sussex & N.E.
- Francis Grose (1731-1791) (Grose’s Antiquities of England and Wales). Vols. 1-8. Most prints are from his own drawings.
- Paul Sandby (1731-1809) If one wanted "real Views from Nature in this Country", declared Gainsborough in 1764, there was no better artist than Sandby, who frequently "employ'd his pencil that way’. Noted for his views of Windsor Castle.
- Edward King (1735-1807), antiquarian; (Munimenta Antiqua, or, Observations on Ancient Castles) 1796 -1804, 4 Vols.
- Thomas Hearne (1744-1817) & engraver William Byrne (1743-1805) (The Antiquities of Great Britain), 1786-1807. 2 Vols. One of the finest exponents of topographical landscapes.
- Michael Angelo Rooker (1746-1801), pupil of Paul Sandby.
- Moses Griffith (1749-1819) (Also worked for Thomas Pennant & Francis Grose).
- Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1758-1838). Illustrations for William Coxe’s ‘A Historical Tour in Monmouthshire’ (in 2 Vols. 1801). Plates are signed ‘RH’)
- John Britton ( antiquarian & publisher) (1771-1827) (The Beauties of England and Wales) (1801-15) (used various artists & engravers) 18 Vols.
- James A. Storer (1771-1853) The Antiquarian and Topographical cabinet; containing a series of elegant views of the most interesting objects of curiosity in Great Britain, 1817
- Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) A friend of J M W Turner.
- William Woolnoth (1780-1837) & Brayley, E. W, (The ancient castles of England and Wales; engraved by William Woolnoth, from original drawings. With historical descriptions by E.W. Brayley) Two Vols. 1826
- John Varley (1778-1882)
- Luke Clennell (1781-1840). Noted for his drawings of castles in ‘Border Antiquities of England & Scotland’ (ed. Walter Scott), 1812.
- John Sell Cotman (1782-1842)
- David Cox (1783-1859) One of the greatest English landscape painters, and a major figure of the Golden age of English watercolour
- Edward Blore (1787-1879) See British Library for his pencil drawings
- Henry Gastineau (1791-1876)
- John Chessell Buckler (1793-1894)
- R W Billings (1813-1874) - For Scotland and the North East. See Baronial & Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland. 1845-52 Vol. 1-4
- Turner, T. H. and Parker, J. H., 1859, (Some account of Domestic Architecture in England) 4 vols.
For local studies, antiquarian prints can be found in various county topographical series:
Cornwall: William Borlase (1695-1772), 1769: Antiquities Historical and Monumental of the County of Cornwall
Cumbria, N. Lancs & the Lake District: http://www.lakesguides.co.uk
Herefordshire: Thomas Bonnor (1798-1815), Perspective Itinerary…….of Ten views of Goodrich Castle (Vol. II, 1798). Published by J Cary; Robinson, C. J., 1869, The Castles of Herefordshire and Their Lords
Kent & Dover: Captain Durrants Sketchbook (Dover Castle)
Shropshire: F. Stackhouse-Acton, 1868, The Castles and Old Mansions of Shropshire
Monmouthshire: William Coxe (1747-1828), 1801, An Historical Tour in Monmouthshire