View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
Kent Head is the source of the River Kent among the high Lakeland fells about ten miles north-north-west of Kendal. Turner’s sketch is taken from the rough road a short distance above Hartrigg Farm, looking north-west to the southern slopes of High Street closing the valley at the centre, with the shoulder on Lingmell End to the right, and the slopes of Ill Bell and Froswick to the left. The building across the valley to the right is Tongue House, which still stands today. The sketch is continued to the left on folio 34 verso opposite (D11497).
On the same visit, Turner sketched the view at the very head of the valley, above the site of Kentmere Reservoir, in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook, (Tate D11176; Turner Bequest CXLV 87a). The present writer has dated Turner’s sketches at Kentmere to Monday 5 August 1816.