In 1816 Turner was commissioned to
make landscape illustrations for a lavish publication on the history of Yorkshire, written by Dr Thomas Whitaker. An advisory committee was set up to decide on the illustrations that Turner should make, although this did not deter the artist from adding his own touches to the project.
Wycliffe Hall is on the River Tees just downstream from the confluence of the Greta and the Tees. In Turner's day it was believed the hall was the birthplace of
John Wycliffe (1324-84), the translator
of the Bible into English.