Joseph Mallord William Turner

Castle Head, near Lindale


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 125 × 206 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLVII 37

Catalogue entry

This is the right half of a double-page spread continued from folio 36 verso opposite (D11501).
Castle Head is a rocky mound rising out of the marshes at the mouth of the River Winster, about a mile north-east of Grange and immediately east of Lindale. The house was built in 1795 by John Wilkinson, a local man who had become one of the great ironmasters of the industrial revolution with forges in Shropshire, Staffordshire and Wales. He died in 1808 and was buried on the island at the time of Turner’s sketch, though his body was later removed to Lindale. The house survives (somewhat enlarged) to this day, serving as a field study centre. Turner’s view is from the access road across the marshes, looking due south past Castle Head to Holme Island off Grange. He appears to have been struck by the corn growing next to the sandy estuary, and would possibly have been surprised today by the extent to which the land has been drained and cultivation extended. As previously observed by this writer, Turner has managed to record evening light and calm conditions with great economy.
Turner also sketched Castle Head in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11195; Turner Bequest CXLV 97) and a more distant view from above Lindale in the Yorkshire 5 sketchbook (Tate D11582; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 34a).

David Hill
February 2009

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