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Online Guide to Richmond » Culloden Tower

Culloden Tower ©Moonburst

Culloden Tower was built in 1746 by John Yorke, a Richmond MP and the architect is thought to have been Daniel Garrett. It was originally called the Cumberland Temple and was built to celebrate the victory of the Duke of Cumberland's army over Prince Charles Edward Stuart at Culloden Moor in April of that year.

The architect, Daniel Garrett, had a talent for the design of Rococo-Gothic plasterwork which can be found in the rooms of the tower. Gothic motifs were found in the tall main room, though set with an orderly Classical framework. Most of the decoration of the tower is Rococo, a style which was more fashionable on the Continent than with anything that was seem in England at that time.

Culloden Tower was built in the garden/parkland of Yorke House, crowning the hill opposite the town and acting as a foil to Richmond Castle's greater tower.The land on which the Tower was built had previously been the site of another tower - a pele tower, called Hudswell's Tower, which stood there from the 14th century until the 17th century.

Culloden Tower from The Bar ©Moonburst

Yorke House which stood closer to the river at the foot of the hill was demolished in 1823, after which the gardens and Culloden Tower became attached to Temple View, a large house to the north of the tower. Temple View, now known as Temple Lodge, started life as a Gothic Menagerie and was built by the last John Yorke in 1769.

The Yorke Family

The Yorke family came to Richmond when John Yorke of Goulthwaite married Mary Norton of Richmond in 1651. Her dowry was a large house on the Green which then passed to the Yorke family and became Yorke House (now demolished). John Yorke was knighted at the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 and was the first member of his family to represent Richmond in Parliament in 1661. John had a son called Thomas who was elected MP for the first time in 1688. Thomas's son was another John, and it was he who had Culloden Tower built.

Culloden Tower Today

Culloden Tower from New Road

Culloden Tower is now owned by The Landmark Trust who renovated it from the sad state of neglect it had fallen into over the years. The Landmark Trust now rent it out as holiday accommodation.

Inside there are 4 rooms one above the other (the upper three being octagonal) and a terrace on the roof with a steep spiral staircase connecting the rooms.

The tower, since being carefully renovated to it's original Rococo-Gothic and Classical styles, is a popular landmark of Richmond and is occasionally open to the public.

View the Landmark Trust web page (off-site link)

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