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The profile of St Nicholas’s Chapel surmounts Lantern Hill, seen to the north across the harbour at Ilfracombe, North Devon. It is the first of four successive slight views, continuing on folios 217 verso, and 218 recto and verso (D08755, D08756, D08757; CXXIII 214a, 215, 215a). Despite transcribing Turner’s inscription ‘Ilfracomb’ from the last of them, Finberg speculated that the first three showed St Michael’s Mount, sketched extensively on the earlier Cornish leg of Turner’s West Country tour as discussed under folio 193 verso (D08715; CXXIII 190a).
There are various other views of Ilfracombe in the Cornwall and Devon sketchbook (see under Tate D41314; Turner Bequest CXXV a 37) and the Somerset and North Devon sketchbook (Tate D08947; Turner Bequest CXXVI 2), used on the same tour. Turner produced a watercolour of Ilfracombe (private collection),1 engraved in 1818 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England (see the introduction to the 1811 tour), but none of the sketches now known correlates closely with its viewpoint.2