Culloden Tower in Richmond was built in 1746 by John Yorke, a local 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. 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 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.
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.
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. renewed the roof in lead, repaired and repointed stonework and restored the interior to respect the original design. The most important part of the restoration was in the two upper rooms. Fortunately enough of the original ceilings had survived which meant we could take castings and recreate the whole design.
The Landmark Trust now rent it out as holiday accommodation. Inside there are four rooms, one above the other (the upper three being octagonal), and a terrace on the roof with a steep spiral staircase connecting the rooms.
Technical details: Nikon D6 camera, 80-200mm lens, 1/800th second at f9, ISO 200.