The ruins of the medieval Castle of Franchimont preside loftily over the village of Marché near Theux in Turner’s sketch, the artist drawing the uppermost reaches of the monument on the folio opposite (Tate D28096; Turner Bequest 28a). The castle, built solidly into the face of a high rocky outcrop, was described by the Scottish publisher William Chambers as the ‘principal object demanding attention’ on his route from nearby Pepinsterre: it was ‘the ancient residence of the marquises of that name [Franchimont], whose rights ultimately merged in the prince-bishops of Liège’.1
The square tower of the basilica of Saints Hermes and Alexander can be seen towards the left of the townscape amongst the layered array of houses and buildings. An arched bridge, the Pont de Marché, can be seen traversing the river Hoëgne at the right.
This sketch and three other loose sheets (Tate D20312–D20313, D20383; Turner Bequest CCXXIV 22–3, 87) are believed to have formed the basis of a gouache, pen and ink and watercolour drawing on blue paper of Franchimont (Tate D20289; Turner Bequest CCXXIII D).2 Other drawings of Theux in this sketchbook can be found on the following folios: Tate D28095–D28096, D28098; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 28–28a, 30.