Turner passed through Calder Bridge on his way south from Whitehaven and Egremont, as described in the itinerary on folio 1 of this sketchbook (D07572). The small packhorse bridge across Friar Gill is a short walk along a footpath from Calder Abbey, for which see folio 31 (D07572), and had been built for the monks. Later, it was used to carry iron ore from Ennerdale to smithies in the fells for smelting. This careful inscribed drawing served as the basis for Calder Bridge, Cumberland (private collection)1 exhibited at Turner’s Gallery in 1810 and again in 1812. It found no purchaser there and remained on Turner’s hands until he sold it to Elhanan Bicknell probably in March 1844. As Butlin and Joll observe, the notes about wheelwrights must refer to the activities in the barn or similar building on the right of the picture.
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.76–7 no.106 (pl.113).