The hamlet of Guy’s Cliffe lies just north of Warwick (see the contemporary Kenilworth sketchbook, under Tate D22047; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 38a), on the road to Kenilworth (see under Tate D22028; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 29) and Coventry (see under folio 9 verso; D22336). The house of the same name, now ruined and largely screened by trees, stands on the south bank of the River Avon, and is seen here from the north; it was built in 1751 in Palladian style, but its character was transformed in 1818 with the elaborate Tudor-style additions which Turner carefully notes here, with additional details below, and there were further changes later in the century. To the left is the tower of St Mary’s Chapel, a fifteenth-century building remodelled in the late eighteenth century.1 The landscape is continued to the left across folio 29 recto (D22375), inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation.
The subject was tentatively and incorrectly identified as ‘Ashridge?’ (a castellated country house near Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire) by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) and the watercolour and Turner scholar C.F. Bell (died 1966) in undated manuscript notes in copies of Finberg’s 1909 Inventory.2 Its correct identification was noted by Dr Bernard Richards as part of unpublished Turner research informed by local knowledge.3 There are other views on folios 29 verso, 30 recto and 31 verso (D22376, D22377, D22380).
See Nikolaus Pevsner, Warwickshire, The Buildings of England, Harmondsworth 1966, pp.301–2.
A.J. Finberg, undated MS notes in a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, p.739; C.F. Bell, undated MS notes in another copy at the same location, vol.II, p.739.
Conversation with the author, 14 May 2013.