Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bowes Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 94 × 74 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIV 5

Catalogue entry

There are three sketches on this page, all made with the book turned to the left. At the bottom is a sketch of a ruinous interior, which probably shows the interior of Bowes Castle, perhaps looking towards the arched windows in the east side. The other two sketches have not been identified. They seem to show a square tower with a single surviving gable at one end. The top sketch provides a distant view with hills beyond, and the larger sketch beneath with hills beyond at the top of the page, and closer-to in the middle sketch beneath. The design is typical of the many peel towers to be found along the Scottish Border, such as Johnny Armstrong’s Tower (folio 43; D25607), Smailholm Tower, and Newark Castle. The inscription, which Finberg has read as ‘Gaston’ does not match any buildings of the type within the vicinity of Bowes.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

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