Joseph Mallord William Turner

Boleskine Burial Ground on the Eastern Shore of Loch Ness


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 179 × 150 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXVI 27

Catalogue entry

The sketch at the bottom of this page (continued slightly at the left on folio 26 verso; D27013) depicts Boleskine Burial Ground, which is situated about halfway between Foyers and Inverfarigaig on the eastern shore of Loch Ness. Boleskine’s Old Kirk was destroyed around 1777 but the ruins of a mort house (mortuary) remain on the site.1 This is the structure depicted at the centre of the sketch, seen from the south with tombstones at the left and right. Loch Ness is at the left, and at the right is General Wade’s Military Road heading in the direction of Inverfarigaig. Turner may have continued on this road to make sketches from the Pass of Inverfarigaig (see folio 32 verso; D27023).
This visit was made during a scheduled stop at Foyers on Turner’s steamboat journey north up Loch Ness. The stop was made principally to see the impressive Falls of Foyers (see folio 40 verso; D27034), but the walk up to Boleskine, and perhaps Inverfarigaig, was probably prompted by the description of these places in the Steamboat Companion, which Turner is likely to have consulted on his tour.2
At the top of the page is a view of Loch Ness, probably the view south towards Foyers Bay from the same spot.
‘Boleskine, Old Boleskine Church, Burial Ground’, Scottish Places, accessed 15 April 2010,; ‘Boleskine Burial Ground’, South Loch Ness Heritage Group, accessed 15 April 2010,
James Lumsden and Son, Lumsden and Son’s Steamboat Companion; or Stranger’s Guide to the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland, Glasgow 1839, p.162.

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

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