Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ankerwycke Priory from Runnymede

1811

On display at Tate Britain

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 75 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08379
Turner Bequest CXXIII 9 a

Catalogue entry

The ruins of Ankerwycke (or Ankerwyke) Priory lies a few miles south-east of Windsor, in a field east of the Buckinghamshire bank of the Thames opposite Runnymede, just north of Egham, mentioned in Turner’s accounts on folio 1 recto (D08362). Egham was at the start of his West Country journey, or an early calling point (see the introduction to the tour). Turner refers to Runnymede’s history in his poetry on folio 26 recto (D08410).
The priory was ruinous by Turner’s time, and today only small pieces of two adjoining walls survive. A double-page study in the Wey, Guildford sketchbook, in use in the previous decade, may also show the building (Tate D06328, D06329; Turner Bequest XCVIII 121a–122), and a drawing in the later Hastings to Margate sketchbook (Tate D10436; Turner Bequest CXL 14) is of a very similar view, apparently from across the river, indicating a recurring interest in the site.
This relatively minor drawing has been exhibited and reproduced due to being opposite the title page of Coltman’s British Itinerary (folio 10 recto; D08380), the pages of which are interleaved throughout the sketchbook. There is another sketch of what appears to be the same building on folio 11 recto (D08381).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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