Although slight, this sketch probably shows the moors near Walter Fawkes’s home, Farnley Hall, and the figures on the left may be on an excursion from the house, like those on folios 32 recto and 33 recto (D09882; D09791; Turner Bequest CCCIV 78, 2); it is unclear whether the nearest figure is riding a horse. Other such sketches in this book are discussed under D09882. More generally, views at and around Farnley Hall and nearby Yorkshire properties belonging to Walter Fawkes are noted under folio 1 verso (D09790).
Finberg tentatively suggested the subject here as ‘Lancaster Sands’,1 presumably prompted by the low, relatively featureless terrain Turner shows here. The artist had crossed Morecambe Bay towards Lancaster at low tide when returning from the Lake District and eventually heading back to Farnley on his extensive Yorkshire and Lancashire tour earlier of July and August 1816;2 he made a watercolour of Lancaster Sands in about 1818 (Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery),3 and another with the same title in about 1826 (British Museum, London),4 engraved in 1828 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04534, T04535); the latter has been compared with a ‘colour beginning’ (Tate D25132; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 10). However, there are no other sketches in this book, apparently in use in Yorkshire in the late summer of 1816 (see the Introduction), to suggest that he used it outside the county at that time.