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As part of unpublished Turner research informed by local knowledge, Dr Bernard Richards has suggested that this rough sketch, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, shows the Tipton entrance to the Dudley Canal tunnel which runs for about two miles south-west under Dudley. The tunnel entrance is now part of the Black Country Living Museum, but the stark, open landscape shown here is difficult to relate to specific features today, with the hill running south to Dudley Castle dense with trees. The tower on the skyline may be the ruined castle keep,1 or possibly St Andrew’s Church, Netherton, further south; compare folios 43 verso and 46 recto (D22404, D22409). Turner drew the church in the contemporary Kenilworth sketchbook (Tate D22021; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 25a).
Conversation with the author, 14 May 2013.