Joseph Mallord William Turner

Castle Cornet, Guernsey


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLII 29 a

Catalogue entry

The top half of this page is occupied by a description of Castle Cornet on the east coast of Guernsey. The medieval fortress guards the town of St Peter Port from a small island in the harbour.1 This picturesque landmark is the subject of particular study in the sketchbook, recurring on multiple pages; see folios 1 verso (D23526; Turner Bequest CCLII 1a); 47 verso (D23608; Turner Bequest CCLII 47a); 52 verso (D23618; Turner Bequest CCLII 52a); 54 verso (D23622; Turner Bequest CCLII 54a); 75 recto to 76 recto (D23663–D23665; Turner Bequest CCLII 75–CCLII 76); 82 verso (D23678; Turner Bequest CCLII 82a); 83 recto (D23679; Turner Bequest CCLII 83); 87 recto (D23687; Turner Bequest 87); 87 verso (D23688; Turner Bequest CCLII 87a).
Beneath the castle is a sketch of a hill, the brow of which is punctured by architectural structures. This may depict Fort George, on the southern edge of St Peter Port, begun in the late eighteenth century to supplement and update the town’s defences.2

John Chu
April 2014

See Bryan Hugh St. John O’Neil, The History of Castle Cornet, Guernsey, Guernsey 1981.
J.T. Cochrane, A Guide to the Island of Guernsey, St Peter Port 1826, pp.66–7.

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