Joseph Mallord William Turner

From Heysham, Looking across Morecambe Bay to the Lake District Mountains


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 40 a

Catalogue entry

This is the left half of a double-page spread, continued to the right on folio 41 recto opposite (D11510), recording the panorama of Morecambe Bay from above Heysham village, with Heysham Head and St Patrick’s Chapel to the left, and the Lake District mountains in the distance running from ‘Black Combe’ on the left, as noted by Turner. The double-spread formed the basis of a studio watercolour Heysham and Cumberland Mountains (British Museum, London)1 dated 1818 and engraved for Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s History of Richmondshire, part of the projected seven-volume General History of the County of York (see Introduction to the sketchbook), and published in 1822.
This portion of the panorama is continued to the left on the recto of this leaf (D11508) to include Heysham Lodge.
Turner made a preliminary sketch of almost exactly the same material in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11160–D11161; Turner Bequest CXLV 78a–79), which accompanied him on the same tour. The present writer has dated Turner’s sketches of Heysham to Thursday 8 August 1816.

David Hill
February 2009

Wilton 1979, p.366 no.579. Hill, Warburton and Tussey 1980 point out that the identification of the distant mountains as in Cumberland, as in the title of the watercolour, is an error. The mountains were in the old county of Lancashire. In 1974 the whole of the Lake District was taken into the new county of Cumbria.

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