Original copper line engraving of Okehampton Castle, Devon from The Beauties of England and Wales, published 1805.

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Published by Vernor & Hood, Poultry Oct 1, 1805

Drawn by S. Prout : Engraved by W. Woolnoth

Original copper line engraving from The Beauties of England and Wales (Volume VI) written by John Britton in conjunction with his friend Edward Brayley. Volume IV (1803) comprised the counties of Devon and Dorset with 32 engraved plates. Samuel Prout was an illustrator and watercolourist employed by Britton initially to tour Cornwall and create views for his Beauties series. William Woolnoth was a landscape engraver and the elder brother of the portrait painter and engraver Thomas Woolnoth. Read more about Britton and Brayley’s Beauties.

The antique print shows a view looking north-east towards the ruined Norman motte and bailey of Okehampton Castle (spelt Oakhampton in the original publication), situated strategically on the northern edge of Dartmoor in Devon. The motte is sited on a wooded spur above the River Okement with curtain walls defending the bailey below. It was one of the largest castles built in the South West and formed the centre of Baldwin de Brionne, the Sheriff of Devon’s estate.

In 1274, Okehampton came into the hands of the powerful landowning family the Courtenays. In the C14th the castle was rebuilt as a hunting estate with a deerpark. A second building was added to the original C11th square stone keep which was also heightened to three storeys. A gatehouse and Great Hall are still visible but the stables and domestic ranges no longer survive. Following the execution of Edward Courtenay in 1539, Okehampton fell into decay and was stripped by the locals for building materials. Thereafter it became a romantic ruin and was illustrated in several paintings and engravings, most notably by Turner.

This print is in a good clean condition and is presented in an ivory conservation quality mount and framed with a dark walnut and gold wood frame with acrylic glazing. Price – £30.00.

 Approximate dimensions are:

Mount window: 175 x 125 mm

Frame overall size: 290 x 235 mm

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg