Jack Lindsay has mentioned this drawing, made with the page turned horizontally, and the central inscription ‘Girl crossing’ as ‘the link’ in a psychological analysis of the genesis of Turner’s major West Country oil painting Crossing the Brook, exhibited in 1815 (Tate N00497),1 showing a view south down the broad Tamar Valley from above Gunnislake Bridge.2 The figure here seems to be descending along the upper part of a fallen trunk, which plays no part in the painting, and any slight overall compositional similarity seems to be entirely fortuitous. See also the entries for folios 84 recto, 118 recto (D09309, D09345) and 251 recto (D09428; Turner Bequest CXXXI 162a). For sketches, probably made in 1813, which actually relate directly to the painting, see the Vale of Heathfield sketchbook (Tate D10271, D10273, D10274; Turner Bequest CXXXVII 46a, 47a, 48).
The sketches between folio 36 recto (D09255) and folio 43 recto (D09263) were made in the vicinity of Trematon Castle, above the St Germans or Lynher River west of the River Tamar and Plymouth. It is possible that the tower on the skyline here is that of the castle. The subjects as far as folio 127 recto (D09358) are all identified or presumed sites within a few miles in and around Plymouth, suggesting a series of fairly short excursions.