The remains of Exeter castle

‘The remains of Exeter castle’ by John White Abbott, about 1787-1809. Pen and ink on paper. Exeter Castle is shown in its ruined state, and sits at the highest point in Exeter City. It ceased to be a military fortress during the English Civil War in 1646. Few buildings remain, but Abbott illustrates the gatehouse entrance which still stands today, with much of the old curtain wall.

John White Abbott (1763-1851) was born and educated in Exeter, where he also practised as a surgeon. Through his uncle, James White, he met Francis Towne who initially gave him drawing lessons and later became a sketching companion. Although White Abbott exhibited annually at the Royal Academy between 1793 and 1805, he never gave up his profession as a surgeon. In 1771 he made an extended tour out of the West Country travelling through Derbyshire, Lancashire, and the Lake District and up to Scotland.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Fine Art
Collection Class
pen and ink on paper
Common Name
The remains of Exeter castle
Simple Name
Period Classification
George III (1760-1811)
Production Town
Production County
Production Country
United Kingdom: England
Production Person Initials
John White
Production Person Surname
Production Year Low
Production Year High

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The remains of Exeter castle