Turner used this drawing, made with the page turned horizontally, as the basis for the finished watercolour of Clitheroe from Eadsford Bridge (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto),1 engraved in 1800 for Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s History of Whalley (Tate impression: T05930). Stanley Warburton points out that Turner may have chosen his viewpoint because of the strategic importance of the ford at this spot during the conflict between the Normans based at Clitheroe and invading Scots in 1138.2 Indeed, in this sketch Turner has omitted the bridge (which he included in his finished watercolour), as though he intended to recreate the scene as it was in the twelfth century. The town itself, dominated by the parish church of St Mary’s, is seen at the left, the Norman keep of Clitheroe Castle on its mound to the right. Pendle Hill is visible in the right distance.
Duplicated in Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.327 no.248, reproduced, as ‘Richmond Bridge, Yorks’, c.1798, as at Toronto, and p.332 no.290, as the Clitheroe subject, untraced.
See Stanley Warburton, Turner and Dr. Whitaker, exhibition catalogue, Towneley Hall Art Gallery & Museums, Burnley 1982, pp.26–7 under no.7.
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