Marrick Priory stands above the north bank of the River Swale about six miles south-east of Richmond, and a half-mile or so west of the village of Marrick. It was founded in 1150 as a community of Benedictine nuns, and was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540. It is now an outdoor education and residential centre. This sketch records the view from the east, which is now obscured by trees. The sketch formed the basis of a studio watercolour of Merrick Abbey, Swaledale (Tochigi Prefectural Museum, Japan)1 engraved by J.C. Varrall 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 December 1822.
Turner sketched a similar view in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11239; Turner Bequest CXLV 119a), which accompanied him on the same tour.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg, p.345 no.569.
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