Turner visited Yorkshire in 1816. This
was partly in response to a commission from an antiquarian and clergyman named Dr T D Whittaker. He asked
Turner to make a series of designs
to illustrate his topographical volume
The History of Richmondshire.
Dr Whittaker chose several views for Turner to include. This one shows the valley of the River Lune from Kirkby Lonsdale churchyard. The study does
not hint at the foreground detail introduced into the finished watercolour: a group of boys playing in the graveyard.