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The subject is certainly Pevensey, from the north. St Nicholas’s Church can be seen on the left. In a series of views running to folio 21 of the sketchbook (D05638) Turner surveys Pevensey Castle from different angles. The castle (in the care of English Heritage) originated in a Roman shore fort and was enlarged in the century following the Norman Conquest. It was one of the subjects Turner painted in watercolour for John Fuller (private collection),1 referring to his Views in Sussex sketchbook (Tate D10326; Turner Bequest CXXXVIII 7).
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, pp.348–9 no.431.