Turner has omitted from this view of the Priory Church of St Mary at Monmouth the tall, slender spire added to the fifteenth-century tower by the Worcester mason Nathaniel Wilkinson in 1743. It replaced a medieval spire, and has parallels, also by Wilkinson, in other towns of this part of the world, notably Ross-on-Wye, Ledbury and St Andrew’s, Worcester.
As Dr Michael Rowlands, author of Monnow Bridge and Gate (Stroud 1994), has noted, the bridge in the foreground is Tibb’s Bridge on the River Monnow, a wooden structure with stone piers, which does not survive;1 compare the 1794 watercolour by Thomas Hearne (1744–1817) showing a similar view (British Museum, London; 1859,0528.212).
See also the drawing of the more famous Monnow Bridge on folio 61 recto (D00617; Turner Bequest XXVI 63).
Dr Michael Rowlands, email to Tate, 3 February 2015; this information is here gratefully acknowledged.
There are several tears, one approximately 100 mm long across the centre of the image; the sheet has been laid down.
Blank (the sheet laid down); stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.
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