Joseph Mallord William Turner

Hall Beck Gill, near Farnley Hall, Looking West


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Support: 285 × 460 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXVIII 7

Catalogue entry

This sketch is the first of a sequence of four apparently recording an expedition from Walter Fawkes’s seat, Farnley Hall, culminating on folio 10 (D09026) with a shooting party in a marquee on the moors. The present sketch records the view looking west towards the head of Hall Beck Gill1 roughly along the line of the present road from Harrogate to Bolton Abbey, with the prominent crag of the Dovestone to the right. A pony, seated figure and two dogs can be made out in the foreground. Hall Beck Gill is about five miles north-west of Farnley Hall. This sketch formed the basis of a watercolour study (Tate D17179; Turner Bequest CXCVI O). Other sketches at Hall Beck Gill occur in the Devonshire Rivers, No.3, and Wharfedale sketchbook (Tate D09798, D09799, D09804; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 9, 10, and 14), the Yorkshire 6 sketchbook (Tate D11900–D11901; Turner Bequest CXLIX 299–298a) and in a separate drawing on the back of a letter (Tate D12099; Turner Bequest CLIV A), but none is from the same viewpoint as this. Turner stayed at Farnley most years between 1808 and 1824, and presumably visited the site on a number of occasions.
The site has previously been mistakenly called Kex Gill, not least by the present writer. Kex Gill runs west from the watershed between Bolton Bridge and Blubberhouses. Hall Beck runs east to the river Washburn at Blubberhouses. The crag is called the Dovestone on the first edition Ordnance Survey of 1851.

David Hill
October 2009

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