It has been a strange year and for many of us it has meant missing out of getting a bit of culture.

But there is still plenty to enjoy on our doorstep - and a chance to see masterpieces.

A painting worth £3.4 million by one of Britain’s most famous artists is now display at Colchester Castle.

JMW Turner’s oil painting Walton Bridges will go on display at the castle until March 28 as part of the new A Turner At The Castle exhibition.

The piece was painted by Turner near his home on the River Thames but was in danger of leaving the country after being sold to a foreign buyer.

However, in July 2019 a rescue bid was launched involving Colchester and Ipswich Museums and the Norfolk Museum Service to save it for the British public.

With the help of major grants from the National Lottery Fund, Art Fund and a private donor the painting was successfully saved after being sold at Sotheby’s for £3.37 million in 2018.


Julie Young, Colchester councillor responsible for culture and performance, said: “The acquisition of Walton Bridges is of great cultural significance to the East of England and will undoubtedly boost the tourism and cultural economy of the area as a result.

“I am immensely proud Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service were involved in helping to save this painting for the nation.

“I would urge as many people as possible to head to Colchester Castle to view this rather special painting.”

Due to covid restrictions visitors to the castle must book a timed entry slot in advance of attending.

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