Canterbury in Kent has a rich Roman
and medieval heritage which fascinated antiquarians and artists in the eighteenth century. Turner's shows the medieval West Gate together with ramshackle working buildings.
Such a combination of the ancient
and the rundown was appreciated for its ‘’ qualities. But Canterbury was also a prosperous modern town. A round of urban improvements had taken place in 1769, with new paving and street lighting. The West Gate was in fact the only gateway not to be demolished.
Gallery label, August 2004