A WETHERBY beauty spot which inspired JMW Turner has been commemorated as part of a campaign to allow visitors to follow in the artist’s footsteps.
The Turner Trails have been welcomed in Wetherby with a bench and interpretation board, installed at the riverside, by the county’s official tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire.
The Trails, supported by a £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), allow visitors to follow in Turner’s footsteps as he painted and sketched over 800 views across 70-plus sites in Yorkshire.
Turner visited Wetherby in 1816 during his extensive tour of Yorkshire to collect material for the history of York series. He had been asked to make 120 watercolours and this was the most valuable commission he had received to date.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive Gary Verity and Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber, were today joined by Wetherby councillor John Procter for an official unveiling.
Gary said: “Turner was a fantastic ambassador for Yorkshire and we are proud to bring his legacy to the people of Wetherby to highlight the town’s historical and important link to this world renowned artist.”
Fiona said: “As one of the most imaginative artists of the 19th century, Turner had a special connection with Yorkshire. This equally imaginative trail will now serve to continue that legacy for locals and visitors alike for years to come.”
The Turner Trails have sparked widespread interest after generating more than 37,000 hits on Yorkshire.com since their launch last June.