Joseph Mallord William Turner

Horsburgh Castle; and the Tweed at Cardrona near Innerleithen


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 181 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 12 a

Catalogue entry

These two sketches were made from the road as Turner approached Innerleithen from the west. The lower sketch can be associated with drawings on folios 11 verso and 12 (D26115, D26116) of Horsburgh Castle, which stands on a mound overlooking the River Tweed opposite the hamlet of Glentress. The ruined tower house, labelled ‘Horsbrough’ by Turner, is at the left with a ridge of hills in the distance.
The inscription above the top sketch is less helpful. Finberg has read it as ‘Kildrogan’, but there is no such place,1 and no other satisfactory reading of the word has been found. The sketch, however, can be identified by the assumption that it was made near Horsburgh Castle. The shape of the river indicates a tight turn of the Tweed, and the appearance of the hills in the background locates this as a view south across the river, from the road to the north-east of Cardrona near Innerleithen. Beyond the Tweed is the hump-shaped Wallace’s Hill with the western foothill of Lee Pen at the left. Cardrona Tower can be seen on Cardrona Hill at the right, and enfolded by the river is a plane where the modern Cardrona Village has since grown up. There is a sketch of Cardrona Tower opposite this on folio 13 (D26118). Bearing in mind this identification, it is possible to speculate that Turner’s inscription is a phonetic attempt at the word ‘Cardrona’ as he heard it.
There is a small black spot at the right centre of the page.

Thomas Ardill
December 2010

Finberg 1909, II, p.861.

Read full Catalogue entry


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